QI, standing for Quite Interesting, is a comedy panel game shown on BBC Two and BBC Four and hosted by Stephen Fry, with permanent panellist Alan Davies.
- 1 Series One [A]
- 1.1 Episode A.01 "Adam"
- 1.2 Episode A.02 "Astronomy"
- 1.3 Episode A.03 "Aquatic Animals"
- 1.4 Episode A.04 "Atoms"
- 1.5 Episode A.05 "Advertising"
- 1.6 Episode A.06 "Antidotes"
- 1.7 Episode A.07 "Arthropods"
- 1.8 Episode A.08 "Albania"
- 1.9 Episode A.09 "Africa"
- 1.10 Episode A.10 "Aviation"
- 1.11 Episode A.11 "Arts"
- 1.12 Episode A.12: "Advent" (Christmas Special)
- 2 Series Two [B]
- 2.1 Episode B.01 "Blue"
- 2.2 Episode B.02 "Birds"
- 2.3 Episode B.03 "Bombs"
- 2.4 Episode B.04 "Bible"
- 2.5 Episode B.05 "Bears"
- 2.6 Episode B.06 "Beavers"
- 2.7 Episode B.07 "Biscuits"
- 2.8 Episode B.08 "Bees"
- 2.9 Episode B.09 "Bats"
- 2.10 Episode B.10 "Bills"
- 2.11 Episode B.11 "Beats"
- 2.12 Episode B.12 "Birth" (Christmas Special)
- 2.13 Outtakes
- 3 Series Three [C]
- 3.1 Episode C.01 "Campanology"
- 3.2 Episode C.02 "Cummingtonite"
- 3.3 Episode C.03 "Common Knowledge"
- 3.4 Episode C.04 "Cheating"
- 3.5 Episode C.05 "Cat's Eyes"
- 3.6 Episode C.06 "Cockneys"
- 3.7 Episode C.07 "Constellations"
- 3.8 Episode C.08 "Corby"
- 3.9 Episode C.09 "Creatures"
- 3.10 Episode C.10 "Cleve Crudgington"
- 3.11 Episode C.11 "Carnival"
- 3.12 Episode C.12 "Combustion"
- 4 Series Four [D]
- 4.1 Episode D.01: "Danger"
- 4.2 Episode D.02: "Discoveries"
- 4.3 Episode D.03: "Dogs"
- 4.4 Episode D.04: "Dictionaries"
- 4.5 Episode D.05: "Death" (Hallowe'en Special)
- 4.6 Episode D.06: "Drinking"
- 4.7 Episode D.07: "Differences"
- 4.8 Episode D.08: "Descendants" (Children in Need Special)
- 4.9 Episode D.09: "Doves"
- 4.10 Episode D.10: "Divination"
- 4.11 Episode D.11: "Deprivation"
- 4.12 Episode D.12: "Domesticity"
- 4.13 Episode D.13: "December" (Christmas Special)
- 5 Series Five [E]
- 5.1 Episode E.01: "Engineering"
- 5.2 Episode E.02: "Electricity"
- 5.3 Episode E.03: "Eating"
- 5.4 Episode E.04: "Exploration"
- 5.5 Episode E.05: "Europe"
- 5.6 Episode E.06: "Everything, Etc."
- 5.7 Episode E.07: "Espionage"
- 5.8 Episode E.08: "Eyes & Ears"
- 5.9 Episode E.09: "Entertainment" (Children in Need Special)
- 5.10 Episode E.10: "England"
- 5.11 Episode E.11: "Endings"
- 5.12 Episode E.12: "Empire" (Christmas Special)
- 5.13 Episode E.13: "Elephants" (Compilation Episode)
- 6 Series F
- 6.1 Episode F.01 "Families" (Children in Need)
- 6.2 Episode F.02 "Fire and Freezing" (Christmas Special)
- 6.3 Episode F.03 "Flotsam and Jetsam"
- 6.4 Episode F.04 "Fight or Flight"
- 6.5 Episode F.05 "France"
- 6.6 Episode F.06 "Fakes and Frauds"
- 6.7 Episode F.07 "Fingers and Fumbs"
- 6.8 Episode F.08 "Fashion"
- 6.9 Episode F.09 "The Future"
- 6.10 Episode F.10 "Flora and Fauna"
- 6.11 Episode F.11: "Film"
- 6.12 Episode F.12: "Food"
- 7 Series G
- 7.1 Episode G.1 "Gardens"
- 7.2 Episode G.2 "Ganimals"
- 7.3 Episode G.3 "Games"
- 7.4 Episode G.4 "Geography"
- 7.5 Episode G.5 "Groovy" (Christmas Special)
- 7.6 Episode G.6 "Genius"
- 7.7 Episode G.7 "Girls and Boys"
- 7.8 Episode G.8 "Germany"
- 7.9 Episode G.9 "Gallimaufrey"
- 7.10 Episode G.10 "Greats"
- 7.11 Episode G.11 "Gifts"
- 7.12 Episode G.12 "Gravity"
- 7.13 Episode G.13 "Gothic"
- 7.14 Episode G.14 "Greeks"
- 7.15 Episode G.15 "Green"
- 7.16 Episode G.16 "Geometry"
- 8 Series H
- 8.1 Episode H.01 "Hodge Podge"
- 8.2 Episode H.02 "H-Anatomy"
- 8.3 Episode H.03 "Hoaxes"
- 8.4 Episode H.04 "Humans"
- 8.5 Episode H.05 "H-Animals"
- 8.6 Episode H.06 "Happiness"
- 8.7 Episode H.07 "Horrible"
- 8.8 Episode H.08 "Hypothetical"
- 8.9 Episode H.09 "House and Home"
- 8.10 Episode H.10 "Health and Safety"
- 8.11 Episode H.11"Highs and Lows"
- 8.12 Episode H.12 "Horses and Hunting"
- 8.13 Episode H.13 "Holidays"
- 8.14 Episode H.14 "Hocus Pocus" (Christmas Special)
- 8.15 Episode H.15 "Hypnotism, Hallucinations and Hysteria"
- 8.16 Episode H.16 "History"
- 9 Series I
- 10 Series K
- 11 External links
Series One [A]
Episode A.01 "Adam"
- [On the subject of Adam and Eve]
- Stephen Fry: But perhaps, you know, we should believe in Adam and Eve. Geneticists have established that every woman in the world shares a single female ancestor who lived a hundred and fifty thousand years ago. Scientists actually call her "Eve", and every man shares a single male ancestor called "Adam". It's also been established, however, that Adam was born eighty thousand years after Eve. So the world before him was one of heavy to industrial-strength lesbianism, one assumes.
- [After a question concerning Burmese etiquette]
- Stephen Fry: While double-checking this … on the Internet, we came up with the extraordinary information that it's considered polite to express joy by eating snow and to send unwanted guests away by biting their leg, and normal behaviour to wipe your mouth on the sofa. This is actually true, the researchers were writing this down with great excitement about Burma, only to discover in the end that Burma turned out to be the name of a poodle belonging to the author of the website.
Episode A.02 "Astronomy"
- Jeremy Hardy: You're basing all this on what Stephen Hawking says, and the fact is, he's subject to interference from minicabs.
- [About Cruithne, assumed to be Earth's second moon]
- Rich Hall: So you're telling me there's a second moon?
- Stephen Fry: There... I am!
- Jeremy Hardy: "Blue moon, I saw you standing alone". Not "with a small friend".
- Rich Hall: So why is there, uh... why is there not one romantic song with the word "Cruithne" in it? Why not "Blue Cruithne of Kentucky", or "Cruithne River", or--
- Alan Davies: No one can see it--
- Stephen Fry: BECAUSE IT WAS DISCOVERED IN NINETEEN-NINETY-FUCKING-FOUR!
Episode A.03 "Aquatic Animals"
- Stephen Fry: Holmes was retired by this point, and was keeping bees on the Sussex Downs.
- Alan Davies: Against their will?
- Stephen Fry: What begins with A, has six Cs, and no Bs?
- Clive Anderson: Is it the Welsh alphabet?
Episode A.04 "Atoms"
- Alan Davies: Charlton Heston played Michelangelo?
- Stephen Fry: Yes, you know, and—
- Alan Davies: The effete Italian homosexual?
- Stephen Fry: Yes, that's the one, he was not effete—
- Alan Davies: Played by the president of the gun club?
- Stephen Fry: He was an athletic Italian homosexual-
- Alan Davies: I thought he was a wussy one!
- Stephen Fry: He may well have preferred man-on-man action, that doesn't mean he was Julian Clary! He was butch, like me!
Episode A.05 "Advertising"
- Stephen Fry: Welcome to QI, the closest modern equivalent to Lions versus Christians.
- Stephen Fry: How do otters kill crocodiles?
- Rob Brydon: Softly with their songs.
Episode A.06 "Antidotes"
- [Danny Baker has related a theory that states if a person can lick their own elbow, then they will be immortal.]
- Stephen Fry: But isn't that how socialism was invented, that someone said, "Come, let us lick each other's elbows"?
- Danny Baker: The fourth largest navy in the world, if one goes by boats alone? Disney. Disney has the fourth largest flotilla in the world.
- Stephen Fry: Good God. They'll be making films next!
Episode A.07 "Arthropods"
- Jackie Clune: I have an Australian girlfriend who has two vaginas. She went to have a smear test and the doctor said, "Well, I've got some good news and some bad news. You've got some precancerous cells, but they're only in one of your vaginas." She says, "Oh, I've been saving the other one for that special man."
- Jackie Clune: It is actually possible for the ball sack to be stretched beyond recognition.
- Jimmy Carr: By a woman scorned?
Episode A.08 "Albania"
- [Randomly, during a question as to whether banana plants are trees]
- Sean Lock: They walk.
- Stephen Fry: I'm sorry?
- Sean Lock: Banana plants, whatever they're called, walk.
- Stephen Fry: Nurse, nurse, he's out of bed again.
- Sean Lock:...they do, they walk. I travelled to Colombia and went to a banana plantation and I was admiring this banana tree said "hold on a minute, what about this patch next to the tree and the man said "the banana trees they walk".
After 15 seconds...
- Stephen Fry:The intelligent voices in my head tell me you're absolutely right Sean, they do walk! They walk up to 40 centimetres in a lifetime.
- Stephen Fry: If a lion mates with a tiger, you get a …?
- Alan Davies: Scandal.
Episode A.09 "Africa"
- Jo Brand: Can I just say something that's very strange? Because there's some German chewing gum called Spunk, and, um, you do have to be careful you don't swallow it—but in fact, I actually talked about that chewing gum on Clive James's show with you [pointing at Stephen] and Princess Diana! Do you remember? Seriously!
- Alan Davies: [wearily] That was a dream. You've got to sort these out.
- Stephen Fry: Who are the Lords of Shouting?
- Jo Brand, Alan Davies: [hitting their buzzers] WE ARE!
- Stephen Fry: What's long and pink and hard in the morning? Answer - The Financial Times crossword.
Episode A.10 "Aviation"
- [Discussing the airport luggage codes that would cause you to have MAD BAD FAT SAD OLD GIT on your suitcase]
- Stephen Fry: … which means they would in fact have recently visited Madrid, which is "MAD" … Bossy-er City, Louisiana …
- Rich Hall: Oh!
- Stephen Fry: … which is "BAD"—you're from Louisiana, aren't you?
- Rich Hall: It's called Bossier City. [He pronounces it "Bojer".]
- Stephen Fry: Bossier! I beg its appallingly insignificant pardon.
Episode A.11 "Arts"
- [Discussing the possibility of receiving xenotransplanted organs from pigs]
- Linda Smith: Now what are the chances of a reckless young pig, goes out and gets killed in a motorcycle accident? They probably don't even carry donor cards!
- Stephen Fry: It's in the Bible …
- Alan Davies: I haven't read it!
- Stephen Fry: You should—it's hilarious.
Episode A.12: "Advent" (Christmas Special)
- Stephen Fry: I'll give you an extra two points if you can tell me the longest fence in the world.
- Phill Jupitus: The Great Fence of China!
- Alan Davies: It's to keep people off the Great Wall.
- [When asked which was the odd one out from London, Paris, Poland and Banana, all places on Christmas Island …]
- Stephen Fry: The answer is that none of them are the odd one out.
- Phill Jupitus: What kind of hellish quiz is this? "Which one's the odd one out? None of them! Bahahaaa! Bahahaaa! …"
- Stephen Fry: Is that meant to be me? [Phill was impersonating Stephen's braying laugh in his role in Blackadder Goes Forth as General Melchett.]
- Phill Jupitus: That's you!
- Stephen Fry: Oh, bugger you! I don't sound like that—bahahaaa, bahahaaa …
Series Two [B]
Episode B.01 "Blue"
- Stephen Fry: Beetle-fanciers, as you probably know, are called—
- Bill Bailey: Coleopterists.
- Stephen Fry: Very good! Coleopterists. I'll give you five points for that.
- Alan Davies: Press him on how the hell he knows that.
- Bill Bailey: Well, when I was a child, I—
- Stephen Fry: In Alan's world, knowing something is a kind of freakish, weird thing.
- Bill Bailey: Welcome to my world of knowing! The wonderful world of looking up things in books!
- Stephen Fry: [discussing rainbows] In Estonia they believe that if you point at a rainbow, your finger will fall off.
- Alan Davies: Oh, for God's sake.
- Stephen Fry: I know.
- Alan Davies: Estonians aren't stupid people, are they?
- Stephen Fry: They're not.
- Sean Lock: [holding up his fists] They're very stumpy, though.
Episode B.02 "Birds"
- Stephen Fry: [about woodpeckers' tongues] How does it fit into its mouth, you may wonder? Well, it has to wrap it round its brain and the back of its eye sockets. Funnily enough, woodpeckers are very popular on creationist websites, because they argue that this is such an extraordinary creature designed so fit for its purpose, and so on, that only a designer could have made it, it couldn't have evolved. Apart from everything else, when it moves, sometimes up to fifteen or sixteen times a second it beats the wood to make a hole, which is incredibly fast and generates immense forces—two hundred and fifty times more forces than an astronaut is subjected to. It's a thousand Gs. And it has these extraordinary kind of little muscles and cartilages around its brain to stop it from shattering. [suddenly laughs] If the pecker's got wood, why go for tongue, you may argue! Um … [giggles as everyone stares at him] … but it is pretty astonishing …
- Jo Brand: Could we maybe have an offshoot of this program called Quite Unnecessary? Can I be on that?
- Jo Brand: When I was a teenager, someone I knew gave their dog LSD …
- Stephen Fry: Oh, my Lord!
- Jo Brand: … It went to Glastonbury.
Episode B.03 "Bombs"
- ["What goes 'woof woof boom'?"]
- Rich Hall: A terrierist!
- Alan Davies: Eight hundred Americans die in a McDonald's every year.
- Rich Hall: Which one? Best to avoid that one.
Episode B.04 "Bible"
Episode B.05 "Bears"
- Stephen Fry: What has large teeth and only one facial expression?
- Bill Bailey: Janet Street-Porter.
- [Forfeit klaxon sounds]
- [On the word "hello", as opposed to "hullo"]
- Stephen Fry: It just meant an expression of surprise—"Hullo, what have we got here?" "Hullo, what's this?" And we still use it in that sense.
- Bill Bailey: Do we?
- Stephen Fry: … Don't we, Bill?
- Bill Bailey: Yes, when we live our lives like 1950s detective films, yes. I often go to my fridge, "Hullo, we're out of milk. I say, mother, where's the milk?"
- Stephen Fry: You beast, you beast, you utter, utter, beast.
- Jimmy Carr: (Using all of his letters to create a phrase.) Put Smarties tubes on cats legs, make them walk like a robot.
Episode B.06 "Beavers"
- Bill Bailey: How many amoebas does it takes to change a lightbulb? One. No, two. No, four. No, eight …
- Stephen Fry: They are homophones. They do sound the same … and they hate gay people.
(After Alan incorrectly guesses that Julius Caesar was born by Caesarian section.)
- Stephen Fry: We don't know anything particularly extraordinary about his birth, we just wanted, uh, Laughing Boy (gestures to Alan) here to fall into the trap.
Episode B.07 "Biscuits"
- Stephen Fry: Do you know what "biscuit" means? What its derivation is? "Bis", meaning…
- Alan Davies: Eat, chew, bit …
- Stephen Fry: … twice …
- Alan Davies: … bite …
- Stephen Fry: … twice …
- Alan Davies: … bite, sweet, hard, coffee cup.
- Stephen Fry: …twice. [laughs] "Sweet, hard, coffee cup"?
- Alan Davies: Cup. Coffee cup accompaniment.
- Stephen Fry: [To Rich Hall on the American meaning of Biscuit] You have Biscuits and Gravy, don't you? Tell the ladies and gentlemen what that is.
- Dara O'Briain: Oh, Traveller from an arcane land.
- Stephen Fry: (As if speaking to a young child) What do your people eat?
- Rich Hall: Everything!
- Alan Davies: See what happens on this show, Dara, is he (gestures to Stephen) thinks I'm an idiot.
- Dara Ó Briain: Yeah, well you think my name is an anagram of diarrhoea...
- Stephen Fry: Do you know why the grass is greener in Ireland than over here?
- Dara O'Briain: Uhm, it's because of lime stone?
- Stephen Fry: No, because you're all over here walking on ours.
- Stephen Fry: What's the collective noun for a group of baboons?
- Rich Hall: The Pentagon.
- Arthur Smith: Here's a quite interesting fact: as we know, at the end of a marvellous performance, when we see a live show, and you think it's fabulous and you want more, you shout, "Encore" …
- Stephen Fry: Yes …
- Arthur Smith: Do you know what the French shout?
- Stephen Fry: "Bis"?
- Arthur Smith: Oh yeah, you do know.
Episode B.08 "Bees"
- Stephen Fry: Honeybees have evolved a complex language to tell each other where the best nectar is, using the sun as a reference point. Amazingly, they can also do this on overcast days and at night by calculating the position of the sun on the other side of the world. This means they can actually learn and store information despite the—
- Alan Davies: Has it occurred to you that they may not be using the sun? That whoever has worked that out is wrong? He's now said, "Even if you can't see it or it's on the other side of the world, they still use it." And these bees are thinking, "No, we don't! We just remember where we live!" Why is it so remarkable that they know where they live?
- Stephen Fry: … Well, because they have only 950,000 neurons, as opposed to our 10,000,000,000 neurons in our brains.
- Alan Davies: But they've only got one thing to remember—where they live.
- Alan Davies: What's brown and sticky?
- Jo Brand: Oh, no... I don't kn— yeah, I do...
- Alan Davies: A stick.
- Jo Brand: Yeah... [exasperatedly puts her head down]
- Stephen Fry: I'm worried by the audience reaction...
- Alan Davies: What do you call a boomerang that won't come back?
- Jo Brand: A stick.
- Alan Davies: A stick.
- Stephen Fry: Do you have any other jokes where the punchline's "a stick"?
- Alan Davies: Loads!
- Stephen Fry: Oh, right.
- Alan Davies: What's orange and sounds like a parrot?... A carrot.
- Stephen Fry: What's red and silly?... A blood clot. [audience groans, Alan grimaces] Oh, DON'T LOOK AT ME LIKE THAT, YOU FUCKING PIG-EYED SACK OF SHIT!
- [Discussing the potential benefits of time travel, such as witnessing historic moments or seeing yourself at a younger age]
- Rich Hall: I had a rolled-up ball of socks. And a hamper all the way across the room. And I just went like that … [imitates a casual throw] … right? Hits the wall, bounces off the ceiling, off this wall, back across that wall, right into the hamper. From, like, forty feet away. I would go back and watch that again.
Episode B.09 "Bats"
- Stephen Fry: If I've got a mothball in this hand and a mothball in that hand, what have I got?
- Alan Davies: Two mothballs?
- Stephen Fry: No, a rather excited moth.
- Stephen Fry: In Britain in 1994, you might be interested to know, there were an astonishing range of accidents reported by the, erm … [deep breath] … Trade and Industries Consumer Safety Units Home Accidents Surveillance History Report. Eight people in the UK in '94 were injured by placemats. Thirteen sustained cruet injuries. Five were wounded by dustpans. Eight suffered as a result of a breadbin accident. Five were hurt by sieves. Fourteen fell foul of a serving trolley. Seventeen were treated for injuries caused by a draught excluder. Four hundred and seventy-six people were injured while on the lavatory … there you are. Underwear hurt eleven people.
- Alan Davies: How many of those people were drunk?
- Stephen Fry: Well, exactly. Or how many of them were sexually experimental?
- [discussing the naked chef who won the only race of the first ancient Olympics]
- Stephen Fry: He, of course, won by a short head- no... After his final spurt- NO, shut up!
Episode B.10 "Bills"
- Stephen Fry: What is the commonest material in the world?
- Clive Anderson: Jim Davidson's.
Episode B.11 "Beats"
- Sean Lock: The huntsman spider is the only spider with lungs.
- Alan Davies: So you can get it a birthday cake with a candle on.
- [On the inventor of the Hokey Pokey]
- Stephen Fry: He died in 1996; what happened at his funeral?
- Alan Davies: Oh, it was terrible, they couldn't get him into his coffin.
- Stephen Fry: Why was that?
- Alan Davies: Well, they put the left leg in … Then the trouble started.
- [On the subject of what music do spiders like]
- Sean Lock: They've got eight legs; they'd appreciate a one-man band.
- Mark Gatiss: Kylie Minogue
- Stephen Fry: Why's that?
- Mark Gatiss: Spinning Around
- Sean Lock: But I don't think spiders are that into puns.
- Stephen: Well, the answer to this question is, it does seem to be classical music. They did an experiment, er, and they found that ...
- Mark: Who are "they"? Who are "they"?
- Stephen: University of Ohio, in this instance, is "they". Or are "they".
- Sean: The University of Fuck-All-Else-Better-To-Do.
- Linda: Formerly the Polytechnic of Fuck-All-Else-To-Do.
Episode B.12 "Birth" (Christmas Special)
- Alan Davies: What would your super power be of choice?
- Stephen Fry: Invisibility.
- Alan Davies: Really?
- Stephen Fry: Yeah, I think. Ah, it'd be great. What would you like?
- Alan Davies: I would like to have no bodily smell.
- Rich Hall: I would like to travel ahead in time, but only by two seconds. I could go 'gesundheit', and you [points at Stephen] would sneeze.
- Stephen Fry: Scientists have managed to create a big bar, a huge one ton metal bar, which is just a fraction of a degree above zero.
- Phill Jupitus: There's bound to be one scientist, that goes in with the big iron bar one day... [looks around, firmly presses tongue against table] ...Ohhh, not again.
- [repeatedly, after having switched seats with Stephen]
- Alan Davies: ...This question is for Stephen Fry.
- Alan Davies: Which way does water go down the plug-hole in the Northern Hemisphere?
- Stephen Fry: Any way you want it to. You can push to go one way or the other, I've tried it.
- [Alan shuffles papers.]
- Alan Davies: [sighs disappointedly] … Yes, that's true.
- Phill Jupitus: "Stephen, what are you doing in that bathroom?" [as Stephen] "I'm pushing it to go one way, I'm pushing it to go the other, I'm the master … of the bathroom"!
- Alan Davies: This one for everyone... What kind of animal is sacred in India?
- Stephen Fry: (growled whisper): DO NOT SAY COW!
- Stephen Fry: DO NOT SAY COW!"
(Phil's buzzer goes off)
- Phil Jupitus: Is it a cow?
(panel laughs before klaxon rings)
- [Talking about Old Testament mythology.]
- Alan Davies: Why do people believe all this stuff, Stephen?
- Stephen Fry: Well, it’s whether you agree with it or not—
- Alan Davies: Never mind televisions ruined Bhutan, this stuff is responsible for some serious aggravation in the world. And people believe it all, for God’s sake! They do believe it all! Bronze age mythology, they believe it all.
- Stephen Fry: People believing in manna doesn’t really upset me or anybody sensible as much as, say, than believing—
- Alan Davies: I don’t eat meat, right? I don’t eat meat, and someone actually said to me, someone who should remain nameless, really angrily: “Animals were put on earth for us to eat.” What does he mean by that? Put by whom?
- Stephen Fry: That’s silly. Off course that’s silly.
- Alan Davies: I said: “You can eat one if you want, but don’t shout at me about them being put there like it’s some big toy farmyard.” You are really clever, why do they believe it all? Can’t they just go: “Bwooh, that was mad, I thought that was true for a minute.” Why do people believe it?!
- Stephen Fry: Because they are foolish and ignorant and scared.
- Alan Davies: They need to believe it? Do they need to believe it?
- Stephen Fry: There is a distinction to be drawn between those who claim to have access to revealed truth and therefore claim to know what happens to us after we’re dead on the basis of a text, whether it’s a Quran or a Holy Bible.
- Alan Davies: But why do people believe them?
- Stephen Fry: Which is nonsensical. And if they want to believe it, they’re fine, but they mustn’t push it down our throats and they mustn’t tell me whom I’m allowed to go to bed with and whom I’m not allowed to go to bed with. It’s not acceptable. Anybody who tells me what happens after I’m dead is either a liar or a fool, because they don’t know.
- Alan Davies: That is what I mean! I don’t mind—
- Stephen Fry: The myth of the Jewish people having manna dropped on their heads, that doesn’t actually matter. That’s no more different — that’s like Greek myth or any other myth, that’s fine. It’s when it gets to telling people how to behave is where we do draw the line.
Series Three [C]
Episode C.01 "Campanology"
- [on the Ordnance Survey map]
- Stephen Fry: Well, each town is 30.000 pounds, and...
- Rob Brydon: For Talbot? They're not gonna charge 30.000 pounds for Talbot, Stephen. They're not gonna get that.
- Stephen Fry: Talbot, is that on the south Welsh coast, by any chance?
- Rob Brydon: Yes. No, you'd be lucky to get 15 quid for that.
- Stephen Fry: Well, Port Talbot may be less than 30.000 pounds, but it's like that old joke isn't it? About the atomic bomb going off in Cardiff, and causing seven pounds worth of damage.
- Alan Davies: Did you know all the rats in England all face the same direction at any given time?
- Stephen Fry: Oh, come on.
- Bill Bailey: No, that's right. Because they're magnetic, aren't they, rats?
- Alan Davies: They spent so long in lead lined sewage pipes, that they move with the curvature of the earth.
- Bill Bailey: Hence the phrase "there's rat, and true rat. And absolute rat."
- Rich Hall: For five million pounds, I'd want a map that showed me looking at the map I'd just bought.
- [on non-newtonian fluids]
- Stephen Fry: ...the harder and firmer it becomes. You could slowly [gestures with protruding finger] put your finger through it...
- Rich Hall: Oh boy. Here we go.
- Stephen Fry: The finger slips in smoothly...
- Rich Hall: Wow.
- Stephen Fry: It's... No. [embarrassed] Please, help me out here. But if you slap it hard... [realises, double facepalms] Oh, dear.
- Alan Davies: Are all the stars round?
- Stephen Fry: I can't answer that. Um, I think probably most-
- Alan Davies: Yet you know what people thought five hundred years ago?
- Stephen Fry: Do I read books? Yes. Have I visited every star in the universe? No. Is this something you find difficult to understand? [A few moments of silence pass.] You've set me off.
- Stephen Fry: What is a taffy pull?
- Rob Brydon: Is this another dig at my forefathers?
- Stephen Fry: You've got four fathers? The Welsh are weird.
Episode C.02 "Cummingtonite"
- Arthur Smith: It’s marvellous to be six because you’re not aware of your own mortality. You think you’re the centre of the universe... Days last a hundred years! It’s always summer! You can put your head in some custard and no one cares.
- Doon Mackichan: I'd quite like to be, sort of … a minute … old. After the smack and everything's washed off, you're straight on the tit, you've got entertainment, you've got sleep and you can cry all the time without anyone thinking you're weird.
- [Guessing the contents of the Queen's handbag]
- Doon Mackichan: The Little Book of Calm … and mace spray.
Episode C.03 "Common Knowledge"
- [Rory has been displaying his knowledge of the periodic table.]
- Rory McGrath: Selenium is 34, arsenic is 33.
- Stephen Fry: Very good. Isn't he good? They should really put railings around you and have children come and stare at you.
- Stephen Fry: (sing-song, about 10 Downing Street) There's always someone in there!
- Jimmy Carr: Well why did you sing that?! It was a little bit scary! There's always someone in there!
- Stephen Fry: I wanted to frighten you.
- Jimmy Carr: I am frightened. I think someone might be under the desk!
- [About Mr. Chicken, the last private resident of 10 Downing Street]
- Stephen Fry: Sadly, nothing else is known of Mr. Chicken.
- Jimmy Carr: He was a philatelist, and he worked in a bank. And he used to sail. So there's three facts, so I should get some points for those. Little-known facts, but true.
- Rory McGrath: I think he also played the tenor banjo.
- Sean Lock: He had eleven knuckles!
- Alan Davies: And, in fact, was actually a chicken.
- Stephen Fry: [exasperated] So, the most biographed man in the 18th century...
Episode C.04 "Cheating"
- [Jeremy Clarkson holds up a sign saying "I like Stephen".]
- Stephen Fry: It's like having your own little performing donkeys.
- Stephen Fry: In 1900 there was a sport where Britain won a gold medal, in which the only other country that competed was France. Can you imagine what that might have been?
- John Sessions: Arrogance?
Episode C.05 "Cat's Eyes"
- Stephen Fry: What do you get when you cross a camel with a leopard?
- Jo Brand: Is it a fireside rug you can have a good hump on?
- Sean Lock: You get sacked from the zoo?
- [On how the ancient armies caught elephants]
- Rich Hall: Well, the truth of the matter is many of these elephants volunteered. They came from small towns, there was no future, no … no circus coming through town …
Episode C.06 "Cockneys"
- Stephen Fry: So, the question is, how does the U.S. government look after its sequoia groves?
- Bill Bailey: Er … lions … and tigers are let loose to roam the surrounding areas …
- Alan Davies: Do they try to win the hearts and minds of the sequoia?
- Stephen Fry: Why shouldn't I strip Alan naked and cover him in gold paint?
- Phill Jupitus: You win your Oscar properly like everybody else!
Episode C.07 "Constellations"
- Sean Lock: I got the worst Christmas present ever, ever in my life. My sister gave me a "Grow Your Own Luffa" kit.
- Stephen Fry: God bless her!
- Sean Lock: It was a clay pot, a bag of earth and five seeds. And I think the clay pot hit her hardest.
- [discussing the luffa]
- Sean Lock: If you're a nun...
- Stephen Fry: [appalled] Oh no, don't go there.
- Sean Lock: [grinning] I didn't say anything!
- Stephen Fry: Oh please.
- Sean Lock: It's obviously a reason that in Victorian bathrooms they had articles like that, it's a huge excuse for sexual jollities, isn't it? [gestures] "Oh no, I use it for my back!" It would feel like, you know, like sometimes if you sit on your hand, and you feel like someone else is doing it, it would feel like someone with a stump is playing with it. [makes provocative wagging gesture]
- Stephen Fry: Mummy, make the nasty man go away... Very odd.
- [Alan makes bashing gestures with luffa]
- Stephen Fry: No! Give me that luffa.
- Alan Davies: Now you want it.
- Stephen Fry: That's going in the art cupboard and you're going in the naughty corner.
- Rich Hall: It's going in your penis tin isn't it?
- Stephen Fry: You are very bad children indeed.
- Stephen Fry: What colour was the Model T Ford?
- Jeremy Clarkson: [Whispering to Alan] Don't say it, don't say it!
- Alan Davies: Black.
- [forfeit alarm goes off]
- Jeremy Clarkson: Did you know a veal has to have more space to be transported to the abattoir than a human being in the back of an aeroplane.
- Sean Lock: ...yeah, but to be fair, we have a holiday, they get killed.
- Jeremy Clarkson: I had a puffin last week, that's not delicious, but the point of eating it was because I never had one before...
- Sean Lock: ...have you tried one of my turds?
- Stephen Fry: Did you just say what I thought you said? Get out. Out now.
- Jeremy Clarkson: D'you know what I had for my starter when I had the whale?
- Stephen Fry: With grated puffin?
- Jeremy Clarkson: I had a seal flipper, and it looked exactly like a marigold glove filled with wallpaper paste. And it sat and you thought, "Ooh …!" And it tasted exactly like licking a hot Turkish urinal.
- Sean Lock: I'm very concerned that you used the word "exactly"...
- [looking at the aries star sign]
- Stephen Fry: Ah, there we are. It's some sort of goat. It's a goat waiting to be fucked from behind.
- Sean Lock: It's a provocative goat.
- Stephen Fry: Quite clearly a Greek goat.
Episode C.08 "Corby"
- [On fortune cookies]
- Phill Jupitus: I wish they'd be a bit more honest—I mean, snap, "With the amount of MSG you've just had, a massive coronary is on the way"!
- [After Alan has related a tale of him being a member of the pub quiz team]
- Phill Jupitus: Wouldn't it be great if you walked into a pub with him, though … [points at Stephen] … with Fry on your team? "Yeah, this is Barry from down the road. Yeah, he does look like him." And Fry would be there having to fake it in the pub—"Oh, blimey!"
- Bill Bailey: Giving it away by swearing in Latin!
Episode C.09 "Creatures"
- Bill Bailey: I saw a goat up a tree in Morocco. They go right up the top! I couldn't believe it, I thought it was somebody in the pub having me on, but no …
- Stephen Fry: And you're sure it was a tree, not a goathanger?
- Stephen Fry: What does a pair of pygmy chimpanzees do when they see a box?
- Helen Atkinson-Wood: Wear children's clothes and have a tea party.
Episode C.10 "Cleve Crudgington"
- [after a question barrage from Alan]
- Stephen Fry: I'm looking at my information card here because you're really pumping me, Alan. You're pumping me.
- [On opening champagne bottles the correct way]
- John Sessions: I was always taught to do that. You actually twist it …
- Stephen Fry: Yeah, twist, exactly. That's it.
- Mark Steel: Where do you get taught these things?
- Stephen Fry: Well, where did you go to school, Mark Steel?
- Mark Steel: I went to Swanley Comprehensive, and that was every Tuesday morning we did Double Champagne Opening!
- Stephen Fry: This was at a party given by their graces the Duke and Duchess of Westminster—
- [Whistles go off and the words "Luvvie Alarm" flash on the screen.]
- Stephen Fry: Oh, no! Come on! No! No! Fair dos! No!
- Clive Anderson: The richest man in the country apart from Roman Abramovich.
- Stephen Fry: I never penetrated his intimate circle, but …
- Stephen Fry: Anyway, Celtic nations but especially Caledonia are rightly praised for their creativity, so name three Scottish inventions.
- Clive Anderson: Oh, and you're gonna say they weren't invented in Scotland, are you?
- Stephen Fry: I don't know, depends on what you say.
- Clive Anderson: Well, the television is always the one that's sort of claimed...
- [forfeit alarm sounds]
- Stephen Fry: [After revealing that neither Television, Haggis nor Whiskey was invented in Scotland] Scottish inventions and discoveries include: Adhesive stamps, the Australian national anthem, the Bank of England, bicycle pedals, the breach-loading rifle--you'll notice I'm going in alphabetical order--Bovril, the cell nucleus, chloroform, the cloud chamber, cornflower, a cure for malaria, the decimal point, the Encyclopedia Britannica, fountain pens, fingerprinting, hypnosis, hypodermic syringes, insulin, the kaleidoscope, the lawnmower, lime cordial, logarithms, lorries, marmalade, matches, motor insurance, paraffin, piano pedals, the postmark, pneumatic tyres, RADAR, the reflecting telescope, savings banks, the screw propeller, the speedometer, the steam hammer, raincoats, tarmac, teleprinters, tubular steel, typhoid vaccine, ultrasound scanners, the United States Navy, universal standard time, vacuum flasks, wave-powered electricity generations, and wire rope!
- Alan Davies: Why is pussy another word for front bottom?
- Stephen Fry: I don't know, it's not my area of expertise.
- Stephen Fry: I leave you with this cautionary snippet about paying attention. A radio interviewer from GLR radio carried away with news of a possible discovery of a cross between an elephant and a woolly mammoth, asked a palaeontologist "so it'd be like some sort of hairy gorilla, would it?" To which the palaeontologist replied "Yes, pretty much! Except elephant shaped. And eh, with tusks."
Episode C.11 "Carnival"
- [On treating phobias]
- Phill Jupitus: So I'll have to get into a bath full of spiders?
- Jo Brand: You can do it two ways. You can do a graded desensitization, where you're gradually exposed to spiders, or you can do something called flooding, where you just get chucked in with them.
- Stephen Fry: This is cognitive therapy, isn't it?
- Jo Brand: Well, it's more sort of behavioural therapy really, because it's cheap.
- Phill Jupitus: I think I'll settle with just screaming like a girl and running around the house, if that's alright with you.
- [On the subject of cockfighting]
- Stephen Fry: [reading from a card] It says here a good cocker would think nothing of cleaning his cock's wounded head by sticking it in his mouth and sucking it clean.
- [The audience laughs and Clive murmurs in agreement.]
- Phill Jupitus: You're watching QI for the Straight Guy!
- [On the original story of Cinderella]
- Stephen Fry: The original stories were quite gruesome. When the ugly sisters tried to slip into the slipper, they cut off their toes and their bunions to try and squeeze in, and the slippers filled with blood.
- Jo Brand: They probably got that idea from Trinny and Susannah.
Episode C.12 "Combustion"
- Stephen Fry: What I want you to do first is tell me all about the twelve Frenchmen and the twelve mosquitoes.
- Dara Ó Briain: Once upon a time, there were twelve Frenchmen called... 'Appy, Sleepy, Arrogant, Furieux, Un Chose Comme Ca, Bof and Zut Alors. And...
- Phill Jupitus: That's six!
- Dara Ó Briain: Fenètre, Boulangerie...
- Alan Davies: Le Table.
- Dara Ó Briain: Le Table, of course. And Jambon et Fromage, the twins. And they used to travel around with mosquitoes...
- Phill Jupitus: And what were the mosquitoes called?
- Bill Bailey: Buzzy, Stingy...
- Dara Ó Briain: It was a very, very low-rent 1950's French detective series, that involved, at some point, the extraction of a tiny amount of blood from one of the suspects.
- Stephen Fry: When the Titanic sank, what was the first thing that happened to the crew?
- Phill Jupitus: Terrible luck for them, but they actually had their six-month review...
- [On what happened to the crew of the RMS Titanic]
- Stephen Fry: Every single member of the crew had their wages stopped at the moment of the sinking. The moment a ship sinks, it is not a ship, therefore you can't work on it, therefore the White Star Line paid them up to the minute of the sinking.
- Phill Jupitus: I would imagine that in a sinking situation, you'd hope to be getting time and a half.
- [On the Titanic]
- Phill Jupitus: Is it true that someone dressed as a lady to escape detection?
- Stephen Fry: Yes, apparently it is true, because it was women and children first.
- Bill Bailey: [chuckling] I thought you said "someone dressed as a baby".
- Phill Jupitus: [posh accent] "Yes, goo-goo indeed. I have a lollipop and I have no control over my urinary functions. I am, in fact, an infant. And I know you think I'm Lord Albemarle, but I am in fact a little baby. With a beard. Yes, goo-goo, gaa-gaa. And madam, may I tell you I've been a very naughty baby?"
- [On the novel The DaVinci Code]
- Stephen Fry: ... and I use the word books very loosely, like... The DaVinci Code. (spits) It is complete loose stool water. It is arse-gravy of the worst kind.
- Alan Davies: He was a blues singer... "Please welcome Lou Stool Water!"
- [Bill Bailey presses his steel guitar buzzer]
Series Four [D]
Episode D.01: "Danger"
- Stephen Fry: One in thirty million people risk dying by being murdered, the risk of choking to death is one in a hundred and twenty million, the risk of dying by tea cosy is one in twenty billion. There is, however, a one in two hundred and fifty seven thousand chance of you dying today during this programme.
- Jimmy Carr: … What have you got planned for Round Two?
- Stephen Fry: What is three times more dangerous than war?
- Jimmy Carr: ...three wars?
- Stephen Fry: You are three times more likely to die at work than at war.
- Alan Davies: Does that include soldiers?
- Stephen Fry: There was a story during the Terror of the French Revolution, that two members of the National Assembly were guillotined and their heads put in the same bag straight away, and one bit the other so hard they couldn't be separated. Just the heads.
- Jimmy Carr: That's holding a grudge, isn't it? For all intents and purposes, you're dead, let it go! Yeah, you didn't get on, whatever!
- Stephen Fry: They were French.
- [on the Darwin Awards]
- Jimmy Carr: It's the reason they should allow people to walk down the railway tracks if they so wish. If they can't work out a train's coming... [shrugs]
- Stephen Fry: Right.
- Jimmy Carr: Let's face it, the gene pool needs a little chlorine. [points around audience] You know who you are.
- Stephen Fry: Another dangerous sport is russian roulette of course.
- Alan Davies: That's dangerous. In the early days, you had a musket. You'd only have the one.
Episode D.02: "Discoveries"
- Arthur Smith: D'you know what you should drink with the beating heart of a cobra? This is a dish in China where you get a cobra—and it's brought to the table alive. They then slice it open, rip the heart out, and it's beating on the plate there—you have to chase it round the plate, I s'pose—and then you drink the blood of the snake as the wine.
- Clive Anderson: Actually, I ordered the lasagne …
- Arthur Smith: I had occasion to hire a theatrical duck, once …
- Clive Anderson: A luvvie duck!
- Vic Reeves: In my career, I've had occasion to hire many, many an animal, but the most expensive was a pelican.
- Stephen Fry: Was it an enormous bill?
Episode D.03: "Dogs"
- Stephen Fry: ....good evening and welcome to QI, for another tentative sniff at the enormous bottom of knowledge.
- [on the differences between cats and dogs]
- Liza Tarbuck: Cats mating, it can be a quite exclusive little gang, whereas dogs, they can run riots, so you could have a Great Dane with a Chihuahua.
- Stephen Fry: It's a nice image.
- Alan Davies: It would involve a stepladder. Or a ditch.
- Stephen Fry: What comes before a German Bight?
- Neil Mullarkey: [presses buzzer] A German Bark.
- [The klaxon sounds and the words "German Bark" appear on the screen.]
- Stephen Fry: You were thinking of J.S., possibly.
- Alan Davies: No, they never bark when they're going to attack you. It's when they go quiet, that's when you have to worry.
- Stephen Fry: Germans?
- [On the Silbo Gomero whistling language]
- Stephen Fry: Do you know how they communicate across valleys?
- Alan Davies: Shout.
- Neil Mullarkey: Mobile phone.
- Stephen Fry: [grinning] No... Not... It's a language they use, but instead of their vocal cords, they...
- Alan Davies: Fart.
- Stephen Fry: My great-uncle had his tongue shot off in the war. He never talked about it.
- Stephen Fry: You know that joke, don't you? What's the similarity is between the pelican and British Gas? They can both can stick their bills up their arses.
Episode D.04: "Dictionaries"
- Stephen Fry: Name, if you can, the subject of the three volume book whose first volume is entitled "The Long Years of Obscurity."
- Phill Jupitus: The career of Phil Collins.
- Ronni Ancona: Is this book about the word obscurity before it got famous? How it was beaten by its adjective father. And left on the doorstep abandoned by its mother, and it was the only noun growing up in a house of verbs. And the verbs were always going out doing lovely things, because they were doing words, and poor old obscurity was stuck inside suffering from asthma. And then after school it was surrounded by quotation marks and got beaten up terribly. And then one day entered into reality TV show and it became very famous and it was much in demand and used to describe all the people who leave Big Brother House?
- Rory Bremner: They built the station next to the power station you see there, which is the third worst eyesore in the country. It was a Country Life thing—do you know what the first one was?
- Phill Jupitus: [in a posh accent] People! Public people! Working classes! Poorly groomed servants! The ill-bred ponies! That Blair fellow!
- Stephen Fry: If I find out you've been intercepting my mail …
- [Discussing dolphins]
- Ronni Ancona: A lot of people say that they're smarter than people, but if they were, wouldn't they be saying that?
- Ronni Ancona: It's so weird that these national heroes are not from the place they are supposed to be. William Wallace was from Kenya. His mother was Masai... Not really!
- Stephen Fry: So, Culloden was really more of a local difficulty; it was Highland versus Lowland; it was like Celtic and Rangers. Catholic versus Protestant, essentially. It's that kind of fight. And it goes on to this day. Will we never learn? Who knows? Religion. Shit it.
Episode D.05: "Death" (Hallowe'en Special)
- [Speaking of marmots]
- Stephen Fry: Given the right conditions, it's a dangerous, a deadly merciless killer of humans. How?
- Clive Anderson: [presses his buzzer]
- Stephen Fry: Clive.
- Clive Anderson: Lead piping in the billiard room.
- [Guessing which illness most doctors treat more than any other]
- Alan Davies: Pregnancy?
- Clive Anderson: Pregnancy isn't a disease, Alan.
- Andy Parsons: It would be if Alan got it!
Episode D.06: "Drinking"
- Stephen Fry: Oh, there you are. Great Wall of China.
- Jimmy Carr: I've got quite an interesting fact about that.
- Stephen Fry: Yep.
- Jimmy Carr: Longest wall in the world, not one cashpoint.
- [After Stephen has had to have beer goggles explained to him]
- Phill Jupitus: Stephen doesn't have beer goggles, he has Madeira pince-nez.
Episode D.07: "Differences"
- Jo Brand: In fact, every woman in the world has got bird flu. But we don't give a shit, we just get on with our lives. Now it's only because a few men have caught it lately that people are going mad about it. "Oh, I've got bubonic plague, but I've still got to do the hoovering."
- [on breaking wind in front of the queen]
- Julian Clary: It was just a little smidge as I thought, and I tried to get rid of it by internal squeezing. But it can't be done, and...
- Stephen Fry: ...are the muscles a little lax down there?
- Stephen Fry: What's the difference between table tennis and ping pong?
- Jo Brand: In table tennis you serve the ball with a bat, and in ping pong it's launched from the vagina of a Thai woman.
- [Stephen asks for Gandhi's first name, which is not 'Mahatma'.]
- Stephen Fry: Do you know what "Mahatma" means?
- Alan Davies: It means "Can I have my hat please, Mother?"
Episode D.08: "Descendants" (Children in Need Special)
- Jonathan Ross: What's the protocol for when you see a really ugly baby?
- Rich Hall: I'll tell you. People show you their babies on their phone now, and it's like a cashew with some hair coming out of it. The thing to say is "Nice phone".
- [Discussing what babies have that adults do not]
- Stephen Fry: They don't have kneecaps, do they?
- Jonathan Ross: Aren't you confusing them with mer-babies?
Episode D.09: "Doves"
- Stephen Fry: Thirty-mile-an-hour winds come when a train enters the station, and a lot of hair gets blown down into the tunnels.
- Andy Hamilton: That's how I lost mine, actually. Most of it is Tottenham Court Road.
- [Talking about how Tube tunnels are cleaned]
- Alan Davies: I don't understand why you can't have a—you know, like you used to have a cleaning tape for your cassette deck—you can't have a cleaning Tube? You'd just send a big furry train down …
Episode D.10: "Divination"
- [About Derren Brown]
- Johnny Vaughan: He's got one great trick. You know when you've got an empty seat by you in a train, and you don't want anybody to sit there? He says you're insane to put things on the chair to stop people sitting there. The trick is, as they approach, you smile at them and pat the seat.
- Stephen Fry: The word "donkey"—when did it come into the English language?
- Graeme Garden: When was Don Quixote published?
Episode D.11: "Deprivation"
- Mark Steel: You know what they say is a test of whether you're anal? Whether or not you keep your records in alphabetical order. I would surely think that it depends on how many records you got—I mean, if you've only got two and you keep going back and going "ABBA, ZZ Top, they're still there, that's lovely" but I've got a roomful of bloody records! I keep them in alphabetical order so I can find the one I want! Apparently that means I got a problem with me arse! How is that right?
- Stephen Fry: What is meant by the expression "hoover the talking seal"?
- Roger McGough: Well, it's either one of those wonderful Oz expressions for throwing up … "Excuse me, I've got to go hoover the talking seal …"
- Stephen Fry: Or "My wife came in just as I was hoovering the talking seal …"
- Roger McGough: [reciting a poem] A crab, I'm told, will not bite,
Or poison you just for spite;
Won't lie in wait beneath a stone,
Until one morning out alone,
You poke a finger like a fool
Into an innocent-looking pool;
Won't grab your hand
And drag you off across the sand
Down into the bottom of the sea
To eat you dressed for Sunday tea.
The crab, I'm told, is a bundle of fun.
With claws like that? Pull the other one!
Episode D.12: "Domesticity"
- [Stephen has said that you get a better clean on a knife blade if you have it pointing up in the cutlery rack of a dishwasher.]
- Phill Jupitus: I clean my knives in a crossbow. Some people say it's foolish. I put them in the hoover and set it on blow, and then shoot them and trap them around the kitchen, as I sit with a plug, bare-wired, at my feet, peeing on it! Gives it a better clean...
- [A picture of a blood-spattered surgeon appears on the screen.]
- Jo Brand: Can I just say, I'm so impressed you got a picture of my husband in our fantasy sex kit.
- [on having to replace a door]
- Alan Davies: The door handle kept turning like that, and I really needed to go, so I kicked the door in. It's the only time I ever kicked a door in. Brilliant! And it was a really cheap, flimsy door, and it smashed [gestures] like that and it exploded, and the door bit fell down, and there was wood everywhere, and I burst in, and [smiling triumphantly] I had a crap.
Episode D.13: "December" (Christmas Special)
- Stephen Fry: Mithras was a savior sent to Earth to live as a mortal, through whom it was possible for sinners to be reborn into immortal life; he died for our sins but came back to life the following Sunday; he was born of a virgin on December 25th in a manger or, perhaps, a cave, attended by shepherds, and became known as The Light of the World; he had twelve disciples with whom he shared a last meal before dying; his devotees symbolically consumed the flesh and blood of him. Because Mithras was a sun god he was worshiped on Sundays...
- Alan Davies: Is he a tribute band?
- Dara Ó Briain: [explaining how to pour Guinness correctly] Five-twelfths of an inch is the ideal head around the top, and if somebody paints a shamrock into it, you're allowed to stab them in the eye with a fork.
- Dara Ó Briain: [in thick Irish accent] And they stuck All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day around the time people were celebrating …
- Stephen Fry: You know, I don't think there is an Arseholes Day.
- Dara Ó Briain: You and your liberal agenda.
- Stephen Fry: Why do they [British Royal Family] open presents on Christmas Eve?
- Jo Brand: Because they're all fuckin' mad!
- Stephen Fry: No, because they're all fuckin' German!
- Dara Ó Briain: I do remember once going out with a lady who was raised atheist, and an utter chore to walk around the gallery with. They go, 'who's the guy on the sticks? Is he the same guy who was in the shed earlier on?'
Series Five [E]
Episode E.01: "Engineering"
- Stephen Fry: Where is the best place to be when a nuclear bomb goes off?
- Jimmy Carr: I would've gone with downtown Nagasaki. Because what are the chances of that happening again? You've got to play the odds.
- Stephen Fry: How can you tell that God is a civil engineer? Because when he designed the human body, he put the recreational area right next to the sewage outflow.
- Stephen Fry: Where is the biggest load of rubbish in the world?
- Audience Member: France
- Stephen Fry: What could you make with an ultrasound rectal probe, a light-emitting tube, bicycle helmets, protective clothing, a huge tub of Vaseline, and a wheel-barrow?
- Jimmy Carr: I could make you the happiest man alive.
Episode E.02: "Electricity"
- Stephen Fry: Now, question one, I think. I'm naked; it's raining. Can you give me a good reason why I should crouch down with my bottom in the air? [Jo immediately rings in; Stephen is already laughing.] Jo.
- Jo Brand: Stephen, I wouldn't have thought you'd need a good reason.
- [The number of British people killed by lightning each year]
- Stephen Fry: It's between three and six, actually, it's not very many.
- Alan Davies: Four or five.
Episode E.03: "Eating"
- ["What were cornflakes originally used for?"]
- Johnny Vegas: It was for, er, putting in mattresses, for monks, as, er, an anti-masturbation sound trigger device …
- [The audience begins to laugh.]
- Stephen Fry: Johnny Vegas, take some points!
- Johnny Vegas: You're jokin'!
- [The whole studio roars with laughter. It's revealed that Will Keith Kellogg was a Seventh Day Adventist, and originally made Corn Flakes in an attempt to inhibit masturbation.]
- [After hearing that eating nothing but rabbit will eventually kill you]
- Johnny Vegas: My dad killed my pet rabbit and fed it to me.
- [The audience is stunned.]
- Stephen Fry: Did he?! [kindly] Perhaps he was trying to kill you, Johnny.
Episode E.04: "Exploration"
- Stephen Fry: I love the way your mind works, Alan Davies … and I use the word "works" quite wrongly.
- [About the first words spoken from the surface of the moon]
- Bill Bailey: Was it 'This is the Moon, this is the end of the line...'
- Rich Hall: Great to be here in Philadelph—I mean, the Moon.
Episode E.05: "Europe"
- David Mitchell: [in imitation of an outraged right-winger] You don't take an active interest in how your country is run for just forty-five years, and look what happens!
- Stephen Fry: Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit für das deutsche Vaterland! Danach lasst uns alle streben Brüderlich mit Herz und Hand!
- Phill Jupitus: I have an erection.
Episode E.06: "Everything, Etc."
- [Clive Anderson's buzzer is (Everything I Do) I Do It for You by Bryan Adams.]
- Stephen Fry: Sometimes there just isn't enough vomit in the world.
- Stephen Fry: And what are the symptoms of taking E? Do you know, Clive?
- Clive Anderson: Um, I don't know, I haven't taken it myself. I've given ecstasy, but not …
- Stephen: And who are the most dangerous cars driven by in the world?
- Jeremy: Oh, are we talking about men or women, children, babies, dogs...
- Stephen: No, nationalities. The most dangerous cars are green apparently, and driven by the Chinese.
- Alan: ...called tanks.
- Stephen Fry: What would you find in the middle of a pearl??
- Alan Davies: An oyster
- Jeremy Clarkson: [Whilst audience are laughing] No
- Stephen: [Surprised voice] You find an oyster in the middle of a pearl?!
- [on getting his foot stuck in a giant clam]
- Jeremy: I was going "I wonder what happens if you put your foot in that?" and [claps hands] BOOM! It's got a sort of velvety, soft, rather comfortable place to get stuck.
- Stephen: Doesn't it start ingesting it and squirting enzymes at your foot?
- Jeremy: I was more worried by the meter saying how much air I had left in the tanks.
- Stephen: Aren't you supposed to have a buddy when you dive?
- Jeremy: Oh, I did. That was my wife, she had buggered off.
Episode E.07: "Espionage"
- Jo Brand: There's a great story about Conan Doyle, actually. Just for a joke, one day, he wrote a note saying, We are discovered. Flee immediately, and he sent it to five of his friends to see what they would do. And one of them disappeared!
- Stephen Fry: There was a time when all the elevator cables were sheared off in the Empire State Building. Do you know about this story?
- Clive Anderson: Yeah, there was a giant ape on the side of it.
Episode E.08: "Eyes & Ears"
- David Mitchell: Fish don't blink. Which is the main eye defence. If you're ever trying to get the eye out of a fish and it blinks... it may be a lion.
- Jimmy Carr: It's just so stupid, isn't it? Beating your wife... I mean, it's your wife- it's like keying your own car!
- David Mitchell: Society just got a tiny bit worse...
- Jimmy Carr: I like to think I can help.
- Stephen Fry: What happens if an ear wig gets into your ear?
- David Mitchell: It gets into your brain, and it stays there, and you form a sort of symbiotic relation with it. It happened to me 20 years ago, and we've never been happier!
- [forfeit alarm sounds]
- Jimmy Carr: You know if a spider lays its eggs underneath your skin, think about how much worse it'd be if it was a goose.
- [on baby cats]
- Alan Davies: If you cut their whiskers off, they can get their head stuck in a milk bottle, I know that.
- Stephen Fry: ...from experience?
- Alan Davies: They will try, if you put something at the bottom like a bit of tuna.
- David Mitchell: And if they do actually manage it, you end up with a lovely bottled cat! That you can take to a party. "I couldn't decide red or white, so I brought a cat."
- [on the myth about the brace position preserving dental records]
- David Mitchell: I've heard that and frankly, I don't know why they don't just tell people! "In the unlikely event of the plane crashing, I think we can all agree, you'd like to be identified. Bite down as hard as you can on your own armrest."
Episode E.09: "Entertainment" (Children in Need Special)
- Stephen Fry: Well, bless him, when he arrived—I'm not wishing to sound patronising, but I've just said "bless him," so there's no way out—
- Alan Davies: I took my nephews to London Zoo, because a friend of ours is a zookeeper there, and she can get you in sort of the back. And we went in to see a lion, and they said, "There's some mesh — there's small mesh and big mesh. You must stay on the side where the big mesh is. Don't go near the small mesh. Stay where the big mesh is. Do you understand?" And the kids went—[nods nervously] And we just went in, and my nephew turned to me and said, "What's mesh?"
- Bill Bailey: I was in Brazil, and I went into an enclosure with a Jaguar. And this Brazilian handler said "It's very important: always approach from the front". And I went, right, okay, and I was just getting closer to the front of it. And then he said "Oh no, sorry, never. Sorry! My English..."
- Stephen Fry: So that's all from Bill, Jo, Jeremy, Alan and Pudsey and me and I'll leave you with this thought about one form of entertainment we haven't covered tonight, from Noel Coward: "People are wrong when they say that opera is not what it used to be. It is exactly what it used to be, that is what is wrong with it." Good night.
Episode E.10: "England"
- Stephen Fry: So that's the Cameroon's Eton tribe. They have other ethnic groups called the Bum, the Bang, the Banana, the Mang, the Fang, the Tang, the Wum, the Wam, the War, and, of course, the Pongo.
- Sean Lock: Who discovered this tribe, Benny Hill?
- Alan Davies: We had a Jimmy Glasscock at school.
- Stephen Fry: Oh, did you?
- Alan Davies: Yeah, you could always see when he was coming.
Episode E.11: "Endings"
- Stephen Fry: What is pink, has pendulous breasts, gets sailors all excited and tastes of prime beef? [as Jimmy rings in] Yes?
- Jimmy Carr: Was Princess Margaret buried at sea?
- Stephen Fry: It was before Haile Selassie, there was an emperor...
- Jimmy Carr: Lowly Selassie.
- [on getting static shock]
- Doon Mackichan: But some people say, it's because of passion, like when you meet the man or woman of your dreams, you have an electric shock.
- Jimmy Carr: Sometimes if I meet an attractive woman, I will tazer her.
- [Which island did Britain's fourth Antarctic expedition get stranded on in 1916?]
- Jimmy Carr: Oh! Is it the Island of Reluctant but Inevitable Homosexuality? [laughter] I think I recognise it from that school trip that went horribly wrong …
- Stephen Fry: Lord of the Undone Flies.
Episode E.12: "Empire" (Christmas Special)
- [About why Germans like Mr. Bean]
- Bill Bailey: There's a certain efficiency about it. [in German accent] "He does somesing, then he falls over. Is very amusing. Before, he vas valking in a straight line, so he's valking into the door! Is genius!"
- Alan Davies: "Zis is vhat happens vhen you break ze rules!"
- Bill Bailey: "Sometimes I stay up very late!"
- [How to keep your children from peeking at their Christmas presents]
- Alan Davies: Blind them.
Episode E.13: "Elephants" (Compilation Episode)
- Phill Jupitus: [stuffing his face with spaghetti] Can I just say, this is the best quiz I've ever been on.
- Stephen Fry: They say of the Acropolis, where the Parthenon is … [Stephen flubs the line, causing the panellists to rib him mercilessly for the next 3-4 minutes as he tries to nail it for the recording - he eventually manages to force out to great applause:] … there are no straight lines!
- Jimmy Carr: Do they? [sigh]
- Alan Davies: Whatever …
Episode F.01 "Families" (Children in Need)
- Stephen Fry: What's the most famous line from a Tarzan film?
- Ronni Ancona: Oh, "Me Tarzan, you Jane."
- Stephen Fry: Yes, except of course it never happened.
- Ronni Ancona: What?!
- David Mitchell: Why do these films always forget to put their most famous lines in?
- Stephen Fry: How has the Eurovision Song Contest made Europe a better place?
- Terry Wogan: How has it made it a better place? Because it has, as you can see, the dove, it has brought together the nations of Europe-
- Stephen Fry: Has it arse, it's divided East from West.
- [On Bertrand Russell's proof that 1 + 1 = 2]
- David Mitchell: A bit late for 21st century, I say. You have a lot riding on 1 + 1 = 2, quite a lot of building going on, an international economy. What happens if you find out 1 + 1 doesn't equal 2 what do we do? Just burn everything, God knows anything can fall on your head. Money? You might as well eat it. Just forget civilization.
Episode F.02 "Fire and Freezing" (Christmas Special)
- [on smoke signals]
- Rob Brydon: Was that before or after email?
- Stephen Fry: [grins] It's... close. They were spamming though, you'd get endless streams! [pretending to fan smoke] "do-you-want-a-big-ger-cock?"
- Stephen Fry: What happened to the fireman's pole?
- Rob Brydon: He tiled the fireman's bathroom.
- [attempting a Richard Burton impression]
- Rob Brydon: "When a baby cries it's first cry when it's born it's crying out knowing..." [audience member giggles] Shut up. [more laughter] You wouldn't know a good impression if it sat on your face!
- Rob Brydon: I'm from the same town as Richard Burton and Anthony Hopkins.
- Stephen Fry: And Michael Sheen.
- Rob Brydon: And Michael Sheen, of course. In fact, my father grew up in the same street, literally the same street, as Anthony Hopkins.
- Stephen Fry: Yeah... In England we live in houses.
Episode F.03 "Flotsam and Jetsam"
- Alan Davies: Did you really work that out?
- Charlie Higson: Some of us paid attention at school, Alan.
- Alan Davies: That one again! That seems to be the root of all my problems.
- [After hearing about how the East German secret police used to take swabs of dissidents' body odour in order to identify them]
- Charlie Higson: It does sound like a new perfume range, though, doesn't it? "Dissidence, from Calvin Klein."
- Stephen Fry: Anyway. The Borgia pope celebrated the feast of chestnuts by an evening of prostitute racing in the vatican.
- Stephen Fry: [while explaining about the formula used to determine the number of times a paper could be folded] … what you need is length and thickness.
- Alan Davies: That will get ripped off and straight onto YouTube. That will also become a ringtone. "What you need is length and thickness." [mimes accepting a call] "Hello?"
- Stephen Fry: Damn you all. You want--
- Alan Davies: And that'll be for text messages.
Episode F.04 "Fight or Flight"
- Stephen Fry: Do you know what the French for "flying fish" is?
- Alan Davies: Poisson … d'aeroplane …?
- Stephen Fry: What's the opposite of a flying fish?
- Sean Lock: Tunnelling flamingo!
- Stephen Fry: Name something that's much easier to do when you're wearing boxing gloves.
- Sean Lock: Frisk a porcupine.
- Stephen Fry: Very good!
- Johnny Vegas: Give up masturbating!
Episode F.05 "France"
- [audience member inexplicably starts laughing hysterically]
- Stephen Fry: Nurse! Nurse! She's out of bed again!
- [After confirming that the reason Tour de France cyclists shave their legs has nothing to do with aerodynamics or speed]
- Hugh Dennis: It's a shame it doesn't make any difference, because I've been using the fact that I don't shave my legs as an excuse for going five hours slower than the guy who won.
- Stephen Fry: Which stage did you do?
- Hugh Dennis: There's an open stage every year. An amateur stage. You do it two weeks before they do it. Eight thousand of us, and by the end, there were four thousand of us left at the end of it. I started in 2400th place, and I finished in 3400th place. I was passed by a thousand people. And it took me nine hours to catch up to the bloke with the one leg.
- Phill Jupitus: [on the Bayeux Tapestry] That says 'Wil 6 Elm'.
- Alan Davies: Normmano. I like that.
- Phill Jupitus: Is that like medieval text speak? They never put the whole thing in.
- Alan Davies: We have been con-kered
- Phill Jupitus:'We've invaded Britain. lol'
- Stephen Fry: O … M … G! Very good.
Episode F.06 "Fakes and Frauds"
- [About the superb lyrebird]
- Jimmy Carr: It can mimic anything? I'd make it woof. How funny would that be, if you had a bird that woofed?
- Alan Davies: I'd get it to do limericks.
- Marcus Brigstocke: I'd probably get it to do Bill Oddie.
- Stephen Fry: Surely that would be a bearded tit, if it was anything.
- Alan Davies: You're thinking of Rory McGrath.
- [On the superb lyrebird imitating a chainsaw]
- Jimmy Carr: I can't see that bird surviving for much longer if it's doing impressions of the chainsaw that's coming toward it.
- Sean Lock: Salamanders can go in fire, can't they?
- Stephen Fry: Yes, that's the legend, presumably that's what happened.
- Marcus Brigstocke: How long can a salamander go in fire?
- Sean Lock: 'till it's cooked!
- Stephen Fry: The Eiffel Tower. They loathed it. Guy de Maupassant loathed it so much that his favourite restaurant was …?
- Alan Davies: The "Eiffel Tower is Crap" Bistro.
- Stephen Fry: No, it was in the Eiffel Tower.
- Alan Davies: Oh, so he didn't have to look at it.
- Stephen Fry: So—exactly. The one place in Paris he couldn't see the Eiffel Tower was inside the Eiffel Tower.
- Marcus Brigstocke: Could he not maybe just ask for a chair facing the other way?
- Stephen Fry: He was a French writer trying to make a point, and therefore a git.
- Stephen Fry: Now, how many commandments are there?
- Jimmy Carr: Are we talking about the commandments that God dictated to Moses on Mount Sinai?
- Stephen Fry: Yeah.
- Jimmy Carr: Literally none, never happened.
- [on how the king of Syracuse asked Archimedes to find out if his crown was made of real gold]
- Alan Davies: I put it in the bath?
- Stephen Fry: Mm, yeah...
- Jimmy Carr: What, does gold go small and wrinkly in the bath?
- Sean Lock: That's your crown jewels!
- [on sword swallowing]
- Jimmy Carr: I think that the actual secret of doing it is to do it really quick and if it gets caught on anything... just jab it.
Episode F.07 "Fingers and Fumbs"
- Stephen Fry: By the way, does anyone know, incidentally, what is the best opening move of Paper, Scissors, Stone?
- Dara Ó Briain: If you say, "You go first."
- [after being asked to hold pencils in their mouths]
- Dara Ó Briain: it doef feem like a bad move in a fpoken wowd comedy fhow, I'm chofing my wowds vewy cawefully hewe, to effenfially difable the fouw conteftants.
- Stephen Fry: What's the ideal way to kiss a Frenchman?
- Alan Davies: A French man? [laughing] I don't know. With their consent?
- Stephen Fry: Very well put! What a nice young man.
- [About the number of kisses given as a greeting in certain regions]
- Stephen Fry: And 5 is Corsica, I suppose...
- Dara Ó Briain: 5?! They really have very little to do in Corsica do they?
- Stephen Fry: Can you tell me what sort of person kisses 5 times? "Cors-i-can!"
- Alan Davies: If you're unsure about whether to do one cheek or two, best way to deal with it is to cup their genitals while you're doing it, and they won't mind how many kisses.
- Stephen Fry: [laughing] Cup their genitals! After the words "Carry your bag, sir?"
- Stephen Fry: How would you describe the famous Thatcher effect?
- Phill Jupitus: Yes. You get the country to bend over, and you give it one till its eyes water.
- Jo Brand: It was great actually when she became lady Thatcher, because then she sounded like a device removing pubic hair.
- [About the Mona Lisa]
- Stephen Fry: The University of Amsterdam used emotion recognition software to analyse the famous enigmatic smile.
- Phill Jupitus: Or looked at her. "Emotion recognition software"? I don't know. My money's on "bored." What do you reckon?
- Stephen Fry: It showed that it was 83% happy, 9% disgusted, 6% fearful and 2% angry. She was less than 1% neutral and not even a quarter of one percent surprised.
- Phill Jupitus: Sounds like a breakdown of the audience.
Episode F.08 "Fashion"
- Reginald D. Hunter: I was at a party here, and this guy was telling me about when he wore corduroy, and he says, "You're an American, do you know what corduroy is?" And I said, "No." And he went on to try and explain it, and eventually four or five people were around me, drunk, trying to explain to me what corduroy was. And eventually this girl who we didn't notice left the room, and she went upstairs to her apartment, and she just dashed in the room with a corduroy jacket, "Here! This is what it is! This is what it is!" And you know, I just … I went along with it because there's nothing like the warm look on white people's faces when they feel like they're teaching you something.
- Stephen Fry: My grandfather was a Hungarian jew, he said "A Hungarian is the only man who can follow you into a revolving door and come out first."
- [on that London is not the city with the most Michelin stars in the world]
- Reginald D. Hunter: I feel that any country that can produce marmite, they started later than everybody else in trying to make food taste good.
- Stephen Fry: This from a country that has spray-on cheese?
- Stephen Fry: My name is Stephen "My Bottom Is a Treasure-house" Fry; Thank you and good night.
Episode F.09 "The Future"
- Stephen Fry: [to the camera] If you are watching QI now, and you believe in astrology, you are banned from watching in future. You are not allowed; you must turn it over now. Thank you.
- Alan Davies: They had vacuum cleaners in America in the 19th century, and they were huge, and they had to go on the back of a car drawn by horses.
- Stephen Fry: [pedantic]I remember seeing that on a programme called QI! ...But well remembered!
- Stephen Fry: Now. Picture the scene. I'm out windsurfing. The breeze is ruffling my trousers and sun-bleached hair. I look up, and I see on the horizon a ship. How far away is it?
- Alan Davies: Twenty-one miles.
- Stephen Fry: No.
- Alan Davies: I thought it was always twenty-one miles.
- Stephen Fry: No.
- Alan Davies: I didn't even get flagged for that.
- Stephen Fry: No, no, I didn't know that anybody always thought that it was twenty-one miles.
Episode F.10 "Flora and Fauna"
- Stephen Fry: [pointing to the red flower in his buttonhole] What does my buttonhole tell you about me?
- Jo Brand: That you're a closet heterosexual?
- Stephen Fry: How dare you!
- [After discussing how the heroine of La Dame aux Camélias wore a red camellia instead of a white one to indicate when she was on her period]
- Stephen Fry: And the film based on La Dame aux Camélias is …?
- Jo Brand: Carry On Menstruating.
- Stephen Fry: Do you know the difference between a frog and a toad?
- Alan Davies: Spelling.
Episode F.11: "Film"
- David Mitchell:There's one of those adverts that sort of says 'There are more germs on your chopping board than on your loo seat.' To which the answer is, 'well clearly that's fine, then.'
- Emma Thompson: [pointing at Stephen] I used to do that to him, actually, make sure that he couldn't get out while I was changing.
- Stephen Fry: You did.
- Emma Thompson: Yeah. It was very good fun.
- Stephen Fry: She used to show me her breasts. [He rhymes the word with "beasts".]
- Emma Thompson: This fantastic effect I used to have on him, 'cause I could make—I could do it now—I'm not going to, but I could—I could make him scream.
- Stephen Fry: [small scream] No. No. Don't.
- Emma Thompson: Not like that scream that we just heard, but a real, actual sort of scream of terror and fright, just by appearing nude at the top of his stairs. [Stephen shudders.] And doing what I like to do, which is locking all the doors at the bottom, so that when he tried to get out … [Stephen mimes pounding on locked doors] … as I came down the stairs, going, "Yes, baby, they're all yours!" By the end of which he was in a state of such extreme panic, and it's great to make someone very clever fall apart like that.
- Stephen Fry: [to Emma Thompson, about her pubic hair] Did you wax yours?
- Emma Thompson: [gets up intimidatingly] You want me to show you?
- Stephen Fry: [collapses] No! No!
- Alan Davies: Lock the doors! Those faint of heart, leave immediately!
- Emma Thompson: You know the word "luvvie"?
- Stephen Fry: Yeah?
- Emma Thompson: What do you all feel about it?
- Stephen Fry: I mean, I'm not going to get as upset as some actors do—some actors say, "We do a bloody hard job at work, we're serious people, we—you know, it's a coal face, doing a play! How dare they call us luvvies!" I think that's a bit overdone. On the other hand, it's a bit tedious when the Daily Mail says "luvvie couple XYZ" or something …
- Emma Thompson: Do you know what the first citation of it is in the OED?
- Stephen Fry: No.
- Emma Thompson: It's you.
- [The Luvvie Alarm is set off. Stephen facepalms.]
Episode F.12: "Food"
- Stephen Fry: What can you usefully teach an oyster? [as David rings in] Yes?
- David Mitchell: Is it … you know … not to get its hopes up? To expect … lemon juice and death?
- Jimmy Carr: The feeding of the five thousand? Like there's five thousand people and they wanted some bread and fish. I reckon that was just about four and a half thousand people going, "What have we got, bread and fish? I'm all right, thanks. I'll have something when I get home."
- David: The other interesting thing about that story is that out of the five thousand people, only two of them had thought to bring any food. And so in a way it's, okay, good miracle, but the other side of it is 4,998 idiots with no sense of foresight at all. And Jesus doesn't make them learn a lesson from that!
- Stephen Fry: "This is the sermon on the Mount. This isn't Glastonbury," he could have said, couldn't he?
- David Mitchell: But, you know, he should have said "You didn't bring any food! Of course there's not gonna be any food! Think about it!" ... "Plan next time! Judea would be better if people planned!" But no. "Yeah, it always works out fine; Jesus'll magic up some grub!" No! He's gonna get crucified one day, and then what are you gonna eat?
Episode G.1 "Gardens"
- [Alan is testing his gentleman gardener's saw on the table, despite Stephen's protests]
- David Mitchell: I really wish they hadn't made the set out of asbestos.
- Stephen Fry: [both arms on his waist] Do you know that rhyme, "I'm a little teapot, short an stout, [looks right] here's my handle, [looks left] oh bugger, I'm a sugar bowl!"
- [Stephen has explained that the best place to find new species is your own garden]
- Alan Davies: Still going rainforest. I'm sorry.
- Stephen Fry: Yes, but you'd have to travel thousands of miles, you'd have to park there, you'd have to look, you'd have to, you know -
- Alan Davies: Park?!
- [audience bursts into laughter, Stephen looks as if he can't believe what he's just said]
- Alan Davies: You know when you find a bee, and it's crawling on its last legs.
- Rob Brydon: I always rescue them.
- Alan Davies: You give it honey. It's the only thing they eat, makes sense when you think about it.
- [audience laughter]
- Alan Davies: No point in just talking to it. Give it honey!
- David Mitchell: They're very much a one-recipe species, aren't they?
- Dara Ó Briain: I'm intrigued, because I would, um, I generally give it a sole of my shoe. You know, not to be harsh, but…
- Alan Davies: [exasperated] You step on a struggling, crawling bee? Trying to get back to the hive?
- Dara Ó Briain: What? As opposed to rehabilitate it?
- Alan Davies: I like honey! I have it on my porridge! You murderer!
- David Mitchell: [after the argument has gone on for a while] But isn't it true, though, that a bee, in its entire lifetime, makes absolutely tiny amount of honey overall? So you don't have to give much rehabilitating honey to this one bee before the nation, the world, is making a net loss! I mean, it's useless. If you only get one teaspoon of honey from a whole bee's lifetime, and every time you have to get it back on its feet it takes a teaspoon and a half, suddenly there's no honey at all! You're insulting it apart from anything else! It's like showing a very tired mason a whole cathedral!
Episode G.2 "Ganimals"
- Stephen Fry: What use is a goose?
- Sandi Toksvig: [dead serious] Is it toilet paper? [general laughter] No, seriously. Is it - [more laughter]
- Stephen Fry: Sandi, that is bizarre. Why do you say that?
- Sandi Toksvig: Well, because I once read this book by Rabelais, I think it was called Gargantua. And he recommended that the best thing for toilet paper was a live goose. And I have yet to check in to a five-star hotel without a sense of disappointment.
- Stephen Fry: So that's the uses of gooses or the eese of geese.
- Sean Lock: Is the next question on the habits of rabbits?
- Stephen: Oh, I wish that it were.
- Sean: "How far can you shove a dove?"
- Alan: Hats of cats. That's my offer.
- [On giraffes]
- Stephen Fry: So there you are. There are these beautiful animals, and they are graceful and sweet and long eyelashes and sexy and rather desirable in many ways…
- Sandi Toksvig: Good thing you're tall.
- Stephen Fry: What's the commonest cause of death among mountain goats?
- Bill Bailey: [hitting his buzzer] BRIAN BLESSED.
Episode G.3 "Games"
- Stephen Fry: Which popular game traditionally ends with all of the participants being thrown into a lake of fiery sulfur?
- Sean Lock: I hope it's show jumping. I hate show jumping!
- [On Ouija boards]
- Stephen Fry: …But the reference in the Bible to the fiery lake or whatever is from Revelations, where it does say that those who practice the magic arts will be cast into burning sulfur.
- Phill Jupitus: How about balloon animals?
- Stephen Fry: The punishment for people who do balloon animals is not specified in the Book of Revelations.
Episode G.4 "Geography"
- Rob Brydon: Friends of mine, back in Wales, quite a few of them have got Welsh - it's not a famous voice but it's a Welsh SatNav, which basically goes, you know -
- Stephen Fry: In Welsh language?
- Rob Brydon: No, no, no, just with Welsh attitude. Welsh approach to life. Or death. "Turning coming up now in about forty yards, get ready for it. Getting a bit closer now, get ready, here it comes. [with utter disappointment] Ohh, you plank! You've missed it. [bored, motioning with his finger] Now, do a u-ie, do a u-ie. Do it! No - don't - oh, [cynical] pull over, attach a hose pipe to the exhaust and just end it all."
- Stephen Fry: What are large - very large - blue, rare, slow-moving, have calfs, suffer from wet bottoms, and are found all over the world?
- Alan Davies: [with a sly grin, pointing his finger at Stephen] Not the blue whale!
Episode G.5 "Groovy" (Christmas Special)
- [After David Tennant has answered a historical question correctly]
- Alan Davies: It's all the time travel he does! He knows something about every era.
- Stephen Fry: [cough] He's acting. [cough]
- Bill Bailey: It's not real? [sounds agitated] What do you mean? What do you mean?
- David Tennant: Don't listen to him. [glares at Stephen]
- Stephen Fry: [raises a hand apologetically] I'm sorry!
- Bill Bailey: [leans towards David] Don't tell me it's not real!
- David Tennant: [whispering] Don't listen to the bad man!
- Stephen Fry: At school, we used to do what we called quad hockey, which is like a polo, only on bikes. You use a hockey stick and a ball, and you just go round on, um…
- Bill Bailey: On quad bikes?
- Stephen Fry: No, not on quad bikes. In a quad. In a quadrangle.
- Bill Bailey: You were playing hockey in a quadrangle? You had a very different sort of schooling to a lot of us.
- Stephen Fry: Why? How is that different?
- Lee Mack: Well, in my school, we used to set fire to cars. In an octangle.
- Alan Davies: The Nazis banned smoking?
- Stephen Fry: The Nazis, yeah, they had very strong anti-smoking…
- Bill Bailey: The more I hear about them, the less I like them.
- Alan Davies: "Well that's the final straw!"
- Stephen Fry: "Up until this point, I've been prepared to listen…"
- Alan Davies: "Oh, I can rationalise everything else, but that …"
- Lee Mack: You can't damn it and damn it and double damn it. You could damn it and damn it and triple damn it.
- Stephen Fry: Yeah. That was his mistake.
- Bill Bailey: [eyeing David] ...chairman of the pedantic society.
- Lee Mack: Vice chairman actually. [grins]
- [On the term 'cool' becoming to mean 'fashionable' in 1933 - the year Hitler came to power]
- Bill Bailey: [mimicking German accent] "Zees new uniforms are cool!"
- [General laughter]
- Bill Bailey: [ironically] So this is Christmas...
- Alan Davies: [mimicking German accent] "I joined ze Nazi party. Zey're cool, daddy-o!"
- Bill Bailey: "Cool, daddy-o!"
- Alan Davies: "And bezides, I have no choice."
- Bill Bailey: "I burned down a Reichstag. Cool!"
Episode G.6 "Genius"
- [On children]
- Alan Davies: I thought you were supposed to play natural sounds because the noises of contemporary life are extremely distractive and create behavioral difficulties. That's why you mustn't have television on 'til they're four, or something like that.
- Dara Ó Briain: That's not how parenting works, my friend. You have the television - you train them to like the television as quickly as you possibly can!
- Alan Davies: [laughing] Because there was no ADHD until television was invented, they kind of coincide…
- Dara Ó Briain: They're happy with HD, my friend.
- [On a painting of Leonardo da Vinci's deathbed, Alan has spotted a figure looking very much like Rodney Bewes]
- David Mitchell: What a weird, unsettling thing to discover that would be, in the context of the credit crunch and everything, suddenly to discover that Rodney Bewes was immortal. Just imagine, on the news, them going: "And today it emerged that actor Rodney Bewes has been alive for as long as time."
- Graham Norton: Given the things that we're talking about, or pretending to know what we're talking about, I actually really don't know who Rodney Bewes is.
- [After Stephen has explained who Rodney Bewes is]
- Stephen Fry: I have to say, the whole point about QI, right, is that the rest of the world talks about cultural things, reality TV and pop stars and Rodney Bewes… and we talk about Leonardo. And what you've done [motions towards Graham] by coming on is we started - no, you actually. [turns to point at Alan] We started talking about Leonardo and we've arrived at Rodney Bewes! That's the wrong direction!
- Graham Norton: I didn't even know who he was!
- Stephen Fry: How old are you?
- [Silence, which then turns into laughter]
- Graham Norton: [flirtatiously] How old do I look?
- Alan Davies: [flirtatiously] How old do I feel?
- David Mitchell: Just shows you the effect of this game, though. You ask a question, all four of us think: "That is something I definitely know the answer to, but I've been made so uncertain, and frightened about that, [motions behind himself] that I'm not even willing to give my own age, name, or address".
- Dara Ó Briain: How can it be a trap? How can this possibly be a trap? I am thirty-seven. Look! [hits the buzzer] Thirty-seven! There we go. No points last -
- [The klaxon goes off, with the text "DARA - 37" flashing on the screen]
- [After Stephen has explained that 98% of the atoms in the human body are replaced yearly]
- David Mitchell: I think some of my socks are older than I am. I feel like I should defer to them.
- Stephen Fry: How many brains did the the man with two brains have?
- Alan Davies: …Two?
- Stephen Fry: Yes! That's brilliant!
- David Mitchell: [Banging both fists on the table] It's so cruel!
- Stephen Fry: He's wise enough to spot a double bluff!
- David Mitchell: It's just the technique of the bully! You hit us! And then you go: [with appropriate mimicry] "Oh, you thought I was going to hit you! I wouldn't hit you. I'm not going to hit you. This is my hand to stroke you." And we go: "Aargh, aargh, he's stroking us!"
Episode G.7 "Girls and Boys"
- [Panelists can win extra points by buzzing at a sexist comment]
- Sandi Toksvig: I, I like pink. 'Pink makes the boys wink'. And I think that's right. I've known boys who've been complete winkers. Marvelous thing, pink.
- Jack Dee: I, uh, sorry. [rings in] Bit sexist, wasn't that.
- Sandi Toksvig: [leans forward] Now, Jack, I've only just started. This is the beginning, my dear.
- Jack Dee: I'm gonna come down you like a…
- Stephen Fry: Hello!
- Jack Dee: …ton of bricks.
- Sandi Toksvig: [nonchalantly] Would be the first boy in my life to have done so.
- Stephen Fry: They can get a man on the moon, but they can't get one on Sandi.
- [On why there are few female guests on QI]
- Sandi Toksvig: Is it because women are just not funny?
- [Stephen gasps]
- Ronni Ancona: [imitating deep Southern woman] Now, that's right, but we're good at other things, we're good at raisin' kittens and knittin' cakes!
- Sandi Toksvig:I think there's a scientific relationship between a sense of humour and the male sex organ.
- Alan Davies: People are always laughing at mine.
- [On how to conceive a girl]
- Alan Davies: Friend of ours had a baby in Thailand. English couple. And the Thai woman said to her: "If you look lovely when you pregnant, you will have girl. If you look tired and ugly, dress badly, you will have boy." And she said: "What do you think I'm gonna have?" "Boy."
- Stephen Fry: [laughing] Outrageous!
- Alan Davies: And she did!
Episode G.8 "Germany"
- [Rob has given an enthusiastic speech about the brilliance of long socks]
- Sean Lock: I just wonder what's gonna happen to you when you go, like, skydiving. You go: "Wow! [spreading his hands] That's incredible! Forget the socks! This is amazing!"
- Rob Brydon: I have been skydiving.
- Sean Lock: Have you tried jelly? That's nice.
- Stephen Fry: What happens in Germany at 11:11 on the 11th of November every year?
- Alan Davies: [completely deadpan] Everything carries on as normal.
Episode G.9 "Gallimaufrey"
- [The panel is playing Call my Bluff with 18th century phrases]
- Alan Davies: I can't stand Call my Bluff. Why are we playing Call my Bluff? It's a shit game! We've invented a really good game, why are we playing a shit one?
Episode G.10 "Greats"
- Stephen Fry: Now, tell me about the "Great Disappointment".
- Jo Brand: Have you been talking to my husband?
- [The forfeit klaxon goes off, with the words "Have you been talking to my husband?" flashing on the screens]
- Stephen Fry: Why are so many great men short?
- David Mitchell: [doubtfully] Are they really?
- Stephen Fry: David, David. You've hit the nail on the head. Rem acu tetigisti, as they would say in latin.
- David Mitchell: …I'm sure they would.
- Sean Lock: It means: 'Nice one, son'.
- Stephen Fry: 'Heightism' does exist. Short people are paid less on average than tall people. The disparity is comparable in magnitude to race and gender.
- Alan Davies: They should rise up.
- Stephen Fry: Yeah… Hey!
Episode G.11 "Gifts"
- Stephen Fry: Name and shame the worlds cheapest cheapskate.
- Jan Ravens: [rings in] Was it Diogenes the Cynic?
- Stephen Fry: …Wow.
- Jimmy Carr: You've seen this show before, haven't you? I think I'm slightly aroused.
- Alan Davies: I can confirm 'slightly'.
- [On dance fly]
- Stephen Fry: It captures an insect, sucks out its innards completely, and then wraps the empty shell in silk. And then gives it to the female, but by the time the female's unwrapped it, and discovered that as it were her box of chocolates is empty, he's already mated her and scarpered.
- Clive Anderson: [to the audience] Now, don't try this at home!
- Stephen Fry: Now, what would you call someone who never laughs?
- Alan Davies: [points towards the audience] That bloke.
- Stephen Fry: [laughing] You're right. He hasn't cracked a smile the whole evening.
- Alan Davies: He might be dead. Nudge him.
Episode G.12 "Gravity"
- [On the "Earth sandwich"]
- Stephen Fry:…There was an immediate controversy, 'cos they used baguettes. And so they weren't quite sure whether they were oriented in the same direction. It might have been a cross shape, which would have disqualified it as a sandwich, really, you can't have a sandwich baguettes crossing, can you?
- Bill Bailey: How do you get to be involved in these competitions?
- [On equipment doctors leave in patients]
- Barry Humphries: This is when we need Hugh Laurie on this show, isn't it?
- Stephen Fry: He would explain it, exactly. If the script was put in front of him. He's a gibbering idiot without it.
Episode G.13 "Gothic"
- Jack Dee: I was a goth for a while.
- Stephen Fry: Were you?
- Jack Dee: I was asked to leave, 'cos I was just too miserable.
- [On zombie apocalypse]
- Stephen Fry: Alan, you're a zombie. You bite Jimmy. Jimmy, you're now a zombie, you bite Jack. Jack, Jack bites Mel, and so on.
- Alan Davies: [pointing at Sue Perkins, who's rolling her eyes] Sue.
- Stephen Fry: What?
- Alan Davies: Sue!
- Stephen Fry: [Realizes what he has said, buries his face in his hands]
- Jimmy Carr: Stephen, ten points now if you know her name.
- Sue Perkins: Is this the warm, personal touch that you get when you come to this show?
- Stephen Fry: [bright red] I'm so ashamed! Oh Sue, I'm sorry.
- Alan Davies: No-one noticed, Hugh.
- Stephen Fry: Where does the saying 'saved by the bell' come from?
- Jack Dee: [hits his buzzer, then grimaces] Oh no, I know what's gonna happen now. It's gonna be, I'm gonna get the klaxon for this. Is it boxing? Is it a boxing reference?
- Stephen Fry: Yes!
- Jack Dee: Oh.
- Alan Davies: Is it - is this where the bells gonna go off…
- Sue Perkins: [whispering] Don't do it!
- Alan Davies: ...Is it going back to being buried alive?
- [The forfeit klaxon goes off, with the words "buried alive" on the screens]
- Jimmy Carr: How can you get it wrong after he's got it right?
Episode G.14 "Greeks"
- [On the legend of Romans vomiting in order to be able to carry on eating]
- Alan Davies: People definitely did that in pubs when I was growing up.
- Stephen Fry: They threw up in order to drink more?
- Alan Davies: Yeah. Go outside, be sick on the pavement, shake their heads, go straight back to the bar.
- Phill Jupitus: Oh yeah, the tactical chunder. Totally.
- Alan Davies: Yeah. "I feel terrible. I'm gonna have to go and have a tactical chunder." Come back five minutes later: "I'm fine now!"
- Stephen Fry: Hmm. Makes sense.
- Alan Davies: Makes sense. Four quids worth of bitter in the gutter and carry on.
- Stephen Fry: We only call ourselves 'Quite Interesting', we don't call ourselves 'Astonishing'.
- [Giving the scores]
- Stephen Fry: We should do this the Athenian way. We should offer Alan the chance - because I can say that Alan is coming last…
- Alan Davies: It's one of my best features.
Episode G.15 "Green"
- [Why are people who don't eat meat called 'vegetarians'?]
- Jeremy Clarkson: It's because if you said you had a herbivore coming round for dinner, the children would be frightened.
- Jeremy Clarkson: How do you get wheat to mate?
- Stephen Fry: Pollination.
- Jeremy Clarkson: Yes, well, how does that happen?
- Bill Bailey: You turn down the lights…
- Alan Davies: Ask the barley to leave the room...
Episode G.16 "Geometry"
- Stephen Fry: There is this strange thing called libration, which is like vibration but beginning with an L. It was a thing that was noted by quite a few of the early astronomers...
- Rob Brydon: Can I say, sorry Stephen, but that's not an acceptable way of defining a word: Libration. It's like vibration, but beginning with an L.
Episode H.01 "Hodge Podge"
- [Stephen has a genuine periscope rifle under his desk. Alan reaches for it.]
- Stephen Fry: Now, don't play with it. They did ask that no-one else touches it.
- Alan Davies: [defiantly] Oh?
- Stephen Fry: It's very valuable.
- Alan Davies: I was gonna make it go over the desk! [gives in and crawls back to his chair] I can't believe I'm not allowed to play with it.
- Stephen Fry: I'm afraid I was given specific 'Alan not to touch' instructions.
- Ross Noble: I love the fact that somewhere there's a memo that just says: "Machine gun - for Stephen Fry's use only".
Episode H.02 "H-Anatomy"
- ["Where is the best place to have your skull drilled?"]
- Alan Davies: [saying nothing, places his fingers on top of his head]
- [The forfeit klaxon goes off, with the words "just here" flashing on the screens]
- Alan Davies: Is that the way they can now read my mind, these people?
- Stephen Fry: [laughing] It's amazing, isn't it.
- Alan Davies: It's the eight series, I suppose.
Episode H.03 "Hoaxes"
- [On whether the moon landings were a hoax]
- Alan Davies: I did an advert with Patrick Moore, and I said: "So, Patrick, did they land on the moon?" And he looked so annoyed with me. He actually explained to me how he'd help to map the moon for NASA and how he'd spent years in the project, and the landing site was partly his idea… And if I ever spoke to him again, he was gonna be sick in my eyes.
- David Mitchell: We are in trouble as a species if people will refuse to believe in things they couldn't actually do themselves.
- Alan Davies: [to cautious David] Embrace the klaxon!
- David Mitchell: I'm trying to!
Episode H.04 "Humans"
- Stephen Fry: What is the point of teenagers?
- Jo Brand: Are they the only group you are legally allowed to punch?
Episode H.05 "H-Animals"
- [As the panel is discussing horns, there are pictures of several horned animals on the screens]
- Ruby Wax: [to Ross Noble] Are you speaking English?
- Stephen Fry: …Did you just say to him: "Are you speaking English?" Have you never heard a Geordie accent before?
- Ruby Wax: Not coming from something with hair that's never been combed.
- Ross Noble: I'd just point out that I'm actually part of this show. I'm not on the screen.
- [On swimming with dolphins]
- Ross Noble: If you see proper wild dolphins, they've got lumps out of them, and bits missing, and they fight… I just love the idea that people are just going: "Oh, this amazing experience"…
- Stephen Fry: …Those serene and mystical and lyrical…
- Ross Noble: …When actually it's just like being chucked in with a bunch of wet skinheads.
- Stephen Fry: It's not often I find myself in a group of four people, thinking I'm the most normal, sane and balanced person, but I'm happy to feel that today.
Episode H.06 "Happiness"
- Rich Hall: They say that a friend will help you, uhh, a friend will come over to your house and help you move, and a good friend will help you move a body.
- Stephen Fry: That's good. That's...
- Rich Hall: ...I have two good friends.
Episode H.07 "Horrible"
- [Describing the home of a tongue-eating louse, trying to guide the panelists towards the right answer]
- Stephen Fry: It is a sliding organ, a wet organ, that is…
- Alan Davies: What are you looking at me for?
Episode H.08 "Hypothetical"
- [The producer and creator of QI, John Lloyd, is in the panel and has been introduced last]
- Alan Davies: You normally introduce me last. It slightly caught me out, and I was applauding myself.
- Stephen Fry: Oh, bless.
- Alan Davies: And I was applauding myself insincerely.
- [On weighing heads by dunking them in water buckets]
- Johnny Vegas: What if you got an air pocket in your ears?
- Stephen Fry: A pocket?
- Johnny Vegas: You know, the ear pockets. [puts his fingers in his ears]
- Stephen Fry: Yes, but the ear cavities are cancelled out...
- Sandi Toksvig: [reaches for Johnny's arm] Take your fingers out, you won't hear the answer.
- Sandi Toksvig: A chicken and an egg are lying in bed enjoying a post-coital cigarette. And the chicken turns to the egg and says, "Well, I think we just solved that riddle".
Episode H.09 "House and Home"
- Stephen Fry: The ecological footprint is a measure of the amount of land needed to regenerate consumed resources and deal with the resultant waste, and current figures calculated by the United Nations are that we are using up 1.4 times more than the planet can restore.
- Alan Davies: The thing is… we evolved from this planet, we are of this planet, we live on this planet, so… can't we do what we like?
- Stephen Fry: Yep… absolutely.
- Alan Davies: I mean we are victims of our own evolution; I just happened to have come in at this point and now I have to turn the lights out and can't see where I'm going when I go to bed.
Episode H.10 "Health and Safety"
- Stephen Fry: [To David Mitchell] Once again, your relentless, urgent, slightly worried logic is making this nonsense.
- [On hypochondria]
- Jeremy Clarkson: I've got a twisted testicle, a hideous skin disease, two slipped disks...
- Alan Davies: [singing] …And a partridge in a pear tree!
- Stephen Fry: Why might I put my finger up your bottom if you couldn't name of seven bald men apart from Yul Brynner? [Beat] That is one of the oddest questions I've ever asked anybody.
Episode H.11"Highs and Lows"
- Fred MacAulay: There will be a lot of people watching who will wonder what does a true Scotsman wear under his kilt, and I can tell you true Scotsman will never tell you what he wears under his kilt. He will show you at the drop of a hat.
- Stephen Fry: I've seen dandruff on the shoes. That's a giveaway. But the short kilt -
- Sandi Toksvig: I don't feel well now.
- Alan Davies: [waving arms] I don't feel good with that information. Quick, send something else! Give me another image!
- [On field crickets chirping quicker at hotter temperatures]
- Rob Brydon: Well, it makes sense now, when you think about when you're being in a hot country, and you're tossing at night and you can't get off, and then you hear the…
- Alan Davies: [long look]
- Rob Brydon: No! No, no, no.
- Stephen Fry: [sympathetic look]
- Rob Brydon: I'm simply not having it!
- Sandi Toksvig: Sounds like it.
Episode H.12 "Horses and Hunting"
- Stephen Fry: A million British horses were sent to the First World War front. What happened to the ones that survived?
- Alan Davies: They settled in the southern France, opened a caravan park…
- Jimmy Carr: Of course they couldn't learn the language, so they ended up moving back.
Episode H.13 "Holidays"
- [On how to find your way towards north in a forest]
- Rich Hall: You find a tree.
- Stephen Fry: Yeah?
- Rich Hall: With moss on it. And…
- [The klaxon goes off, with the word "MOSS" on the screens]
- Rich Hall: [unaffected] …On the opposite side of it, it's dry, so you sit there and wait for someone to come along and ask them.
Episode H.14 "Hocus Pocus" (Christmas Special)
- Daniel Radcliffe: The oldest trick in the book is pulling the head off a dead goose and then restoring it.
- Lee Mack: I can do the first half of that trick.
- [Daniel Radcliffe has given several correct and comprehensive answers. Alan is starting to look miserable.]
- Stephen Fry: Don't be put off by a young person knowing more than you, Alan. You must be used to it by now.
Episode H.15 "Hypnotism, Hallucinations and Hysteria"
- [Stephen has hypnotized a lobster]
- Ronnie Ancona: You truly are a renaissance man!
- Stephen Fry: I wear tights, put it that way.
Episode H.16 "History"
- [The panelists are given old bronze bowls with small hole in the middle, and asked what they would do with them]
- Rob Brydon: You know what I would use this for, Stephen? If I was enjoying some salted pistachio nuts at home, while watching the Emmerdale omnibus, I would use this to…
- Stephen Fry and Alan Davies: …Kill yourself?
- Stephen Fry: So, with that display of general incompetence, we reach the end of recorded history. All that remains to see is who has learned its lessons, and who's condemned to repeat their mistakes endlessly… On Dave.
Episode I.01 "I-Spy"
- [On the aye-aye]
- Lee Mack: I'm not surprised that they're endangered, because clearly they aren't mating, are they? They're looking at each other and going: "I'd rather not!"
- Stephen Fry: It is dark, remember.
- Alan Davies: All the ugly ones come out in the dark.
- Lee Mack: That's how Jimmy mates. "I'm happy to do it, luv, but it'll have to be with the lights off."
- Jimmy Carr: I can't believe your wife told you that.
Episode I.02 "International"
- [On the I series "Nobody knows" bonus]
- Bill Bailey: What are the points that you gain by using it correctly?
- Stephen Fry: I think we all agree that nobody in this universe understands QI's scoring system.
- Bill Bailey: Right. So, by that logic, were we to raise the subject of the scoring system, and I was to do that, [holds up his "Nobody knows" card] then… [he's cut off by laughter and applause]
- Alan Davies: He's made a very good point.
- Stephen Fry: Somehow, I feel like I'm trapped in an infinite loop. Yes, fortunately that isn't one of the questions.
- David Mitchell: If it were in a hypothetical round a question - "What is the QI scoring system?" - and then "Nobody knows", [mimics lifting up the card] what would happen to the person who does the QI scoring? Would they not then feel rather sad? They are at least presumably sitting there thinking that they know.
- [In the end of the discussion, it turns out that Bill has been rewarded three points for his insight]
- [When was the First World War first called "the First World War"?]
- David Mitchell: It's gonna be some point after 1939, isn't it?
- [The forfeit klaxon goes off, with "1939" flashing on the screens]
- David Mitchell: Excuse me! I think I said - I think what I said, people in the box, is after 1939. Which may contain 1939, but does not mean it.
- Stephen Fry: No. Well -
- [The klaxon goes off, with "after the Second World War" flashing on the screens]
- David Mitchell: [waving finger] Okay! No, no, no! "After 1939" and "after the Second World War" are not synonymous. Now, this is just giving you time to type "after 1939".
- [The klaxon goes off, with "during the Second World War" flashing on the screens]
- David Mitchell: ...Why don't you just type "Mitchell is a cock"?
- Stephen Fry: [warningly] I wouldn't put it past them...
Episode I.03 "Imbroglio"
- [On French phrases that the French themselves don't use]
- John Bishop: What about bidet?
- Stephen Fry: Bidet they do indeed have, though it's easier, really, to do a handstand in the shower, to be honest. But if you want the expense of a bidet…
- Sean Lock: Easier?
- Stephen Fry: [laughing] If you are as nimble as I am.
- Sean Lock: I'd pay good money to see that. I'd like to see you doing that, with a camera, [mimics lifting a camera phone] going: "Tweet this!"
- Frank Skinner: I tell you what's always frustrated me, and that is that on a standard typewriter keyboard, when you hit the semicolon, you just have to hit the key. But to get the colon, you have to press that other key. If I was a colon, I'd think: "Surely I take precedence. You are merely a semi version of me! I should be the one that just needs one key!"
Episode I.07 "Incomprehensible"
- Stephen Fry: He genuinely believed it was possible that after Christ's ascension in to Heaven, the rings of Saturn are where he put his foreskin. Now, you're maybe thinking that I'm trying to mock the church, that this is nonsense. But Christ, of course, was a Jewish boy, and like all Jewish boys, at the eighth day of his birth, he was circumc –
- Brian Cox: They're fifty thousand miles across!
- Stephen Fry: [Talking about St. Catherine of Sienna] She also actively sought out degrading experiences. She once drank a cupful of cancerous pus from a woman who'd abused her.
- Alan Davies: But had she appeared on Mock the Week?
- [Question: "How were the rings around Saturn actually formed?" Brian Cox and Alan Davies, sitting on the opposite sides of the studio, both pull out their "Nobody knows" cards]
- Brian Cox: I'm going to, to play the card there.
- Stephen Fry: [looking at Cox] You are right! You're a true scientist. The fact is that nobody does really know, do they.
- Alan Davies: [pointed cough]
- Stephen Fry: [turns to see Alan with his card] Well done!
- Alan Davies: [Formally] Thank you.
- Ross Noble: Of all these [Saturn's] moons, which one is most likely to be the home to Ewoks?
- Brian Cox: Would be, um, Titan.
- Ross Noble: Titan?
- Brian Cox: It's got a thicker atmosphere than the Earth, so you'd need to be furry.
- [Ross and Alan quickly open their notebooks and start writing]
- ["Fill in the gaps in slogans"]
- Stephen Fry: "Welcome to Northamptonshire - Let yourself..."
- Sue Perkins: "…down."
- Stephen Fry: This is an optimistic one here. "Welcome to Tower Hamlets - Let's make it..."
- Alan Davies: "…out alive."
- [Talking about SatNav]
- Stephen Fry: I've just done voice for them, so that if you have TomTom or Garmin…
- Ross Noble: No, you drive along, and it goes: "Turn left. Now, the interesting thing about this particular building…" [His voice is drowned under the audience's laughter and applause. Stephen buries his face in his hands.]
- Alan Davies: Did you do it as if you were talking to me? That's the worrying thing. "Left, you moron!"
Episode I.08 "Inequality"
- [Looking at a painting on the screen]
- Alan Davies: That's a really ugly baby.
- Clive Anderson: That's not any use! Don't learn that expression. "Really ugly baby." There's never an option to use that in real life.
- [Explaining a radio interview of an actress]
- Alan Davies: Cut the long story short, they airbrushed her nipples out of the poster. Her nipples were showing through her costume, just the two little… [motions with his hands]
- Clive Anderson: But this is radio!
- Alan Davies: [laughing] Not just for the radio. And, uh, she had complained about it. "So why have you airbrushed my nipples, that's ridiculous. Why don't you just leave them?" And the presented said: "Well, perhaps they thought they weren't suitable for children".
- [On corporal punishment]
- Stephen Fry: Children were always beaten. Really, we are the first generation - Um, I'm not. I was beaten huge about when I was a child in prep school.
- Clive Anderson: Really?
- Stephen Fry: God, yes. From age seven 'til thirteen, at least twice a week. I was a bad boy, and I was always being thrashed.
- Clive Anderson: What for?
- Stephen Fry: Oh, stealing, lying, cheating, um, being cheeky, being a nuisance, evading games…
- Clive Anderson: Bit of a smartarse, were you?
- Stephen Fry: Yeah, being a smartarse...
- Clive Anderson: ...being too clever for your own good. That sort of thing. Always telling everyone what was going on.
- Stephen Fry: All things that annoyed people about...
- Clive Anderson: Well, they certainly beat that out of you, didn't they?
- Henning Wehn: If you're in your seventies now, how old were you in the end of World War II? Maybe ten years old? How did you help win the war? When you were just ten years old, you did not help win the war.
- Stephen Fry: By not eating bananas.
- Henning Wehn: Yeah. You were nothing but a drain on British resources!
- Stephen Fry: [to the laughing panelists] You've gotta admire his guts, haven't you?
- Henning Wehn: Effectively every 70-year-old Brit, effectively fought on the side of Nazi Germany! And lost the war every little bit as much as we did!
Episode I.09 "Illness"
- Ben Goldacre: Female sexual dysfunction, for example, started being pushed at the time that various companies were trying to get licences for things like Viagra for the 50% of the population who are unlucky enough not to have a penis. And...
- Stephen Fry: [to Jo Brand] Steady.
- Alan Davies: Jo's got loads of penises, but they're all in her drawer.
- [On flatulence]
- Stephen Fry: It seems that we produce about three pints of wind a day.
- Jo Brand: Pints?
- Stephen Fry: Yes, it's measured in pints. Released in ten to fifteen individual "episodes".
- Andy Hamilton: You can get the box set as well.
- Alan Davies: Or, you can have a feature-length episode.
Episode I.10 "Inland Revenue"
- [On fire stations]
- Stephen Fry: You've gotta have two machines abreast, is usual, isn't it? And then all the living quarters were next door... [interrupted by a chuckle from Alan]
- Alan Davies: Sorry, I've just thought of breasts. [hands on his chest] "Two machines"?
- Stephen Fry: [laughing] Two machines per breast.
- Sandi Toksvig: It was an odd moment, Alan, 'cos I was with you.
- [Dara is given back points unfairly deducted from him in an earlier episode]
- Sandi Toksvig: Sorry, is he gonna get points for something - and we weren't even there!
- Al Murray: I know a loads of stuff I haven't said!
- Dara Ó Briain: I'm okay, 'cos I came on series two, and I mentioned the triple point of water being zero. And in series three I came back, and they said: "Oh no, we've had e-mails, that actually the temperature is 0.01." Right, so I was one hundredth of a degree off on this. And he docked me points! The following year! So I'm happy, I'll take them.
- Stephen Fry: Yes, exactly. What goes around, comes around. [to the other panelists] Don't feel bad. You may get points, next… two years time.
- Dara Ó Briain: Some day when you least expect it, when you're sitting and having coffee, Stephen will appear and go: [bows] "Some points".
Episode I.12 "Illumination"
- Chris Addison: You know, Edison electrocuted an elephant. It's my favourite fact of all time.
- Stephen Fry: Yes. Do you know why?
- Chris Addison: He was carrying out an execution.
- Alan Davies: I think you might know this 'cos you saw it on QI.
- Stephen Fry: [laughing] Yes.
- Chris Addison: Really? [over the audience laughter] The problem of joining you people so late is that you've basically covered all human knowledge!
- Stephen Fry: Tell me something quite interesting about the original geishas.
- Jack Dee: They were all men.
- Stephen Fry: Yes!
- Jack Dee: Oh, God.
- Stephen Fry: The first person to reason that the tropics were not hotter because they're nearer the sun, but because a smaller area is lit by an equal amount of light compared to other latitudes, was George Best. [to the incredulous amusement of the panelists] It's absolutely true! It was George Best who worked that out.
- Chris Addison: Oh, you've lost it now. You've completely lost it. You're gonna have to hand this over to someone else.
- [Turns out Stephen was talking about an Elizabethan scientist, not the footballer]
Episode I.16 "The Immortal Bard"
- [On Broadway musicals inspired by Shakespeare plays]
- Stephen Fry: There was one based on The Comedy of Errors...
- Sue Perkins: What happens in The Comedy of Errors?
- Stephen Fry: There are two sets of identical twins...
- Sue Perkins: [exasperated at Shakespeare's stock characters] Oh God, one of them's shipwrecked, "who's a girl, who's a boy?", "I'm married!", everyone's dead!
Episode K.04 "Knits and Knots"
- Stephen Fry: Thorns are modified branches or stems. Prickles are part of the skin, which is what those are, they come out from the skin.
- Ross Noble: So when Bon Jovi sang "Every rose has a thorn..."
- Stephen Fry: They were lying.
- Ross Noble: ... he made an absolute fool of himself. That would be great wouldn't it, if you went to a Bon Jovi gig. "Every rose has a ..." Whoop! Whoop! Whoop! [imitates forfeit klaxon]